Sunday, September 4, 2011

Chotu and Choti.

Every evening without fail he used to turn up at my place.Always on time, 7.30 sharp.He used to drop flowers at my front door.Mostly it was marigold.sometimes jasmine or lotus.Always neatly wrapped.He knew my preference very well.Never disappointed.I would go to my door and bring in the flowers long after he had left.The flowers used to make me smile.The fragrance too lingered on long after i had kept them aside.This was a routine now.As a matter of fact I liked getting those flowers from him.An unknown face gave me happiness everyday.One day, i happened to catch the reason behind my everyday delight.And it changed everything.

My first reaction was shock.He was very different from who i imagined him to be.How could my imagination fail me to this extent.I was intrigued, I had to know to know more about him.And thus began our little talks.

I would everyday go to my front door sharp at 7.30. to find him there.I got to know about his family, friends, preferences and the fact that he had never been to school.Another shock.I asked him the reason and he said its in his family.Nobody had ever been to school and he was no exception.I would have never guessed had he not told me.It made me sad.He was after all only a 9 year old kid..

I decided to talk to someone from his family.I need a reason as to why was a 9 year old kid forced to grow up.I went down to his house and what i found out there amazed me.Their reason was simple "why does he need to study when he is earning even now?? ".I didn't know how to answer that question then.But it stayed with me all these years.

I am sure all of us come across such kids.They turn out to be "Chotu".Yes, the chotu you come across when you visit roadside stalls or dhabas and sometimes even restaurants."Chotu" turns into "Choti" who accompanies her mother, the mother, who works as the domestic aid in your house.

courtesy : google images.

The government has taken steps towards eradicating the menace called child labour.It is a huge problem and can't be solved overnight.But little steps taken by us as aware citizens will go a long way.

Where to complain if one comes across any incidence of Child Labour

 1. Police Station
Lodge a complaint at the nearest Police Station

2. Labour Commissioner of the concerned State
For contact details of State Government Labour Departments, see

3.Pratham Helpline for Child Labour
(Rescue helpline for Mumbai & Maharashtra)            
Call 022 -  65134884 
For more details, visit

A toll free 24-hour telephone help line 1098 for children in distress can be accessed in 72 cities of the country.


  1. A very sincere Thank You..

    Thats all I have to say :)

  2. great post...its true and sad...thanks for sharing the info about where to complain

  3. Reading a post on a cause after a long time :)
    I guess the question asked by the family of that kid could have been answered. Education will expand his possibilities of vocation, expose him to areas which can get him more earning. He will learn to make out when he is being fooled. This, if not the pride and self-respect he would bring to himself and the family..
    Pleasure read.


  4. Great insights on whom to approach to mitigate child labour. Should pen more on the topic !Good going.

  5. hmmmm...i want to lodge a complaint against BCCI for making Parthiv Patel play...thats child labour too u know :D

    gr8 i'd said wen i tagged u...ur posts make one think.

  6. WOOOW...speechless.
    Really this is one of the best blog post i ever read so far.

  7. its heartening to see little kids working in dhabas & hotels & garages
    touching post

  8. I agree with Sujatha and thanks for sharing that information.

  9. So many dreams shattered, they don't have a thing called childhood. Their life dedicated to earn the bread for the family. That is all.
    You have written it well Upasana.
    Thanks for sharing the info.

  10. Sad to read about hopes and aspirations of a future, coming down all over.God save them, let's all help them.

  11. thanks for sharing...once after having lunch at a dhaba (when we were in college) i cried to see how the owner was beating a child labour...i cudnt do much! my friends said, accept it if you can not change...sigh....i feel bad about it even today :(

  12. Thank you aakash! This could have been an answer!

  13. Sure it is child labour kalpak n. !! Parthiv patel will forever look like a kid! Thank you for your comment.

  14. Hey chitra! Its really sweet of you to think so.Welcome to my blog!

  15. It really isSujatha Sathya! Thank you for your comment!

  16. Its really heartening to see such small kids being deprived of something so basic Spicy Sweet!

  17. We really should Ashwini! Its a very nice thought!

  18. We have all seen such situations in our lives Chintan!! only some of us notice enough to remember them.Now you know how you can help them.

  19. nice thought of making ppl aware...really gud one upasana!!!!!

  20. great going upasana

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