How I Escaped Death and Encountered the Ultimate Bliss Of My Life ?
“Bacha Chor ! Bacha Chor ! Bacha Chor …”, The Gaggle of people with raising cacophonous sound of foot steps terrified me in darkness among scaring tress blurting out about the realities of death. I was left in chaibasa in a state of 3 Crores people having 26.2 % population of tribal people. They have merely 57.1% literacy rate far from 74% of average in India. 15% people move to urban cities every year from this area in search of jobs. I was running to escape death after being an accused of 3838 missing children in the area over the years by flock of 36 tribal groups of Jharkhand. The shrubs, tree branches, and fast winds were a friction to my heavy steps while back in mind surfaced the news of lynching in the area past week.
I was fortunate to be saved by a guy who was out of 80,000 people who traveled from Dhanbad to West Bengal last year. I thanked the moment when I shared my soft drink and my favorite corns with this guy on Howrah bridge. I hardly knew that this guy would save my life 1.5 years later from a group of angry, agitated, desperate, lethal and flinched tribal mob. My hunger brought me to the world of dark fear of child lifting. Staying in 1 Out of 150 Houses in the area, I was discussing the word “fear”.
“My sister is missing from 5 months. He took her to Delhi on promise of 5000 Rupees per month and good education. We are very poor. Hardly grow two crops an year. Initially she called twice stating she don’t want to stay there, later we got threatening calls to keep our mouth shut. We approached “Childline” , an NGO because of the fear of being caught as insurgents if we reported this to police. We are very desperate and sad. I have one more sister and I fear if they would take her away as well. I dropped her out of school and everyone here accompanies their children to everywhere they go. We still have hopes that somebody will bring her back. Childline brought Bhadura’s daughter back. If my Sudhni will ever come back to us?” I gulped and sighed to stop those salted water coming out of my eyes to make myself strong. I decided to stay back for few days as I felt it would relieve me out of the monotonous life I am having and I would get to know something in my life.
Past couple of weeks, I have been listening to stories of lots of victims whose children have missed and are waiting from months for them to get back. I was talking to one of the activist of the village working in the NGO childline whose efforts helped to retrieve 228 Children. Is there any chance we can bring back Sarpa’s sister back ? I said while offering him a glass of unhygienic water to drink. “Sarpa has just a Adhar card photo of her sister which is 2 years older. How do u outsider people think it is easy to get all the things done. You dumbfounded people sleeping in cozy beds would never know what these tribal villagers are facing right now. You have a stupid media which hardly turns their head but have hours to talk on why somebody didn’t stood while playing national anthem?” His blunt reply offended me but later I felt guilt for it. That’s a harsh truth.
Next few weeks, I kept cursing myself on thought to leave this place and get back to where I belong. I was feeling bad for the guy who saved my life, Sarpa. I kept wandering here and there in the village to quench my curiosity and anxiety thirst. A man, Baldeo gets two day work under MNREGS whose payment receiving is another ordeal. Poverty, Unemployment, Naxal issues, child trafficking, illiteracy scares the hell away of the vision of INDIA 2020. I encountered numerous attempts of people searching for “bacha chor” in the area. They used to shout and run behind rumors of people hiding at a place while the females used to stay back at home protecting their children. They were hardly sleeping at night. I do had the fear of my life but looking at their consternation, it hardly mattered.
Months Passed, I had nothing in my hand to help these tribal villagers so that I can satiate my inner self. September 2016, We had good connectivity of mobile networks but people used to spend very little and were far from the Internet world. Reliance JIO launched, The Youths got this opportunity of using Internet and see the outer world. Hanna 19, was happy to be the one out of first few people who got Jio. He came to me to learn the ways he can access the key to the outer world. He said that he want to work to get his village free from “THE FEAR”. I taught all the possible ways to connect to the virtual of people sitting outside on a different world. Lot of interested youths walked to know more and learn what this new thing is all about. It created a commotion and everybody was talking about it. Few literate people started sharing what they faced. A flock of Groups, Pages, Events, online protests were created at mass level to combat “THE FEAR”. Most of the youths were now active on various platforms. Millions of messages were being shared on Whatsapp & Facebook daily. Rumors do.
Dark people of “THE FEAR” got this sense fear of anxiety from lower level to top level. But this was unstoppable. This November, I was happy of the way things were being carried in the tribal village of Chaibasa. I was talking to few people that morning of November when a jeep arrived and stopped in front of me. It was same activist of Childline who came down with a smile on his face. A beautiful girl in her 13–15th year who seemed very tired stepped down of the stopped jeep. She bounced straight to the door beside me yelling maa… The aura of air gave me goosebumps when everybody stood looking at her with tears in their eyes, I saw the tightest hug in my life which her crying mother gave to the girl. This was the best scene of my life. I heard a background music when she cuddled and kissed her child after 8 months.
Life is unpredictable. I took a sigh, allowed my tears to roll, prayed for other children and plodded to my life. I wish, cities of Jharkhand, 16th in size in India get back to lead a fearless life as soon as possible.
#Childtrafficking #Jharkhand #Shortstory #Fear