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Human trafficking in India – Now chor bazaar for kids?

Not that reading bizarre news in newspapers surprises me anymore, in fact I can safely say that when I pick up newspaper in the morning, I do expect to read at least 3-4 such weird news which just leaves you thinking – aisa bhi ho sakta hai kya! But when you read some news piece like this, not only it leaves you amazed at the plight of things around us but it also makes you think about the state of human behavior in current times.

Frankly speaking I had no intention to write any gyaan post today but this news did effect me a lot. Earlier I had read it in newspapers, and last night when I saw some coverages being aired on news channels about kidnapped babies rescued in TN, the visuals impacted me all the more! As per the report – “two more babies were recovered yesterday in TN on the basis of the lead given by the two gangsters who were on police custody. In this connection Jayaprakash, Chennai based middle man and Ramalingam, an accomplice of Dhanalakshmi were arrested by the Krishnagiri police. Police sources said that the accused in the baby kidnapping case, Dhanalakshmi confessed that she had kidnapped a four day old male baby belonging to N. Mumtaj hailing from Tiruppathur at the Tiruppathur GH and a two and half year old boy of S. Sangeetha of Pernambattu Colony on July 23, 2008 and handed over to Girija another accused in the case under the police custody. In turn Girija sold the four day old baby to Puzhuthiraj-Mekala couple in Jainagar in Bangalore for Rs.99, 000 and another baby was sold to Periyasamy-Kamalam couple living near Salem in Krishnagiri for Rs.50, 000”.

Parents interested in selling their own babies out of need is a different topic, maybe their financial penury is so overpowering that they decide to sell their own kids for any money ranging between Rs. 10,000 to 1.5 lacs. Yeah, 10k – that’s the cost of a human life in India! But imagine people STEALING babies and then selling it in the market to the willing ones? Can a human really do this? Human trafficking anyways is growing at a phenomenal rate in India and right from women being used in sex market, to kids being used for child labor or kid-sex market, we have seen and are seeing it all. Human trafficking is actually an organized industry which has been observing growth rate of no less than 20-30 per cent year on year basis. But kidnapping new born babies or so called baby-trafficking has to be really the worst form of trafficking I guess! More than my anger on rackets kidnapping new born babies, I feel disgusted on these affluent people who out of their parental hunger are actually paying money for those stolen innocent babies. There are so many orphanages in India, why not adopt one from there and why resorting to this ugly act of inhumaneness? Is it because they definitely want a new born baby only or they are ashamed of adopting one from orphanage? Frankly speaking I am quite curious to know more about their reasons of buying babies this illegal way but whatever might be the reason, I think nothing can be worse or more shameful than participating in trafficking of innocent new-born infants!

Wordless Wednesday

Oh how I try to walk along with the flow, how I try to hold on to the pace, but life seems to be just slipping underneath my feet...
Pic: Taken during one of my recent trips to Pondicherry

Bus Day - Is it really feasible?

Got this image as a forward yesterday, and the first section of the picture immediately reminded me of the driving stretch between Sarjapur Junction- Agara; a stretch which unfortunately I need to drive by daily :(. How painful that stretch is can only be described by people who commute on it daily.

Most of the days I end up cribbing about traffic woes and the miseries of flyover construction all over Bangalore, though at the same time I also keep on thinking as to what I as an individual can do to avoid adding up to the already existing mess on roads. Trust me all the traffic problem in Bangalore is not only because of municipal issues, I seriously think that and firmly believe that a good part of the chaos is also due to highly undisciplined commuters here. Even if the percentage of such irresponsible drivers will be low as compared to the sincere ones but the problem is when there is not even an extra inch available to divert then even slight digression and other smart acts by few fellow drivers can really lead to larger chaos on the roads. Tired of driving (read crawling) on that route daily, I always think of opting for some public transportation service for my daily commuting needs. One it would save me all the hassle of meandering my ways on that horribly packed road, second at least from my side I’ll be reducing one car which occupies the road space with only one passenger in it! But unfortunately there is no good bus service available directly from my home to office. And taking auto daily is simply out of question – one needs a special training all together to deal with auto walas in Bangalore.

When I saw this picture yesterday and read a tweet about monthly bus day today in Bangalore, I thought let me try to travel by bus today. Last month also we had discussed in office about taking the bus on bus day as our contribution for lesser traffic from our side even if it meant for one day only. I knew this would mean at least extra 30 mins (6 mins to walk till nearest bus stop from my home, 14 mins to reach my office from nearest bus stop again & another 10 minutes to wait for bus to come assuming there will be at least some bus every 10 minutes). And taking out extra 30 mins in morning rush to reach office is a task in itself. But still determined to travel by bus today, I reached the stop dot on time as per the timing suggested by BMTC website. Two auto guys came and very proudly I said NO to them. Waiting, waiting and lo no bus at all for 15 mins. Hmmm, some more waiting and after approx 22 minutes saw a bus coming. Happily tried to enter the same and well the bus was jam packed so much so that not even a single passenger boarded the bus. A minute or two and the bus was just gone! Waiting commuters looked at each other with a wry smile. Waited for another few minutes and then along with others decided to succumb to auto wallas once again. And when we approached those auto guys whom earlier all of us had said no, you should have seen their ironical smile! Yes, once again we were at the mercy of them and knowing well that we have already wasted our time for 25-30 minutes, all of them asked whatever money they wanted to. Depending upon our negotiating powers, kannada speaking skills and urgency to reach office we took the autos at all random and highly inflated rates. Finally reached office quite late than planned and at a quite higher cost than estimated! Despite the intention to contribute my bit towards lesser traffic, the bus day was sort of dampener for me!

Though I am in total favor of initiatives like Bus Day or Carpooling drives in Bangalore, but I wonder do we have enough infrastructures to support such initiatives here? What’s the point in tom-tomming so much about initiatives like bus day when not even enough buses are there to support the needs of the commuters? If facilities are there but still public is not opting for it out of luxury or bit of convenience then I can still understand it, but here not even the basic facilities are in place for people to opt for? Can I as an individual really do anything towards easing out the traffic problems in Bangalore or am I just supposed to have more patience to cope up with it each & every day?

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