An Earning Toddler and a Cold December — Child Labour!
“Human life is filled with a lot of pain. This pain is unbearable. We shouldn’t raise more humans to suffer, and we should end humanity”
It is a cold December night in Peshawar، Pakistan. People are fighting to move forward in a tiny market. Throughout the day, shopkeepers on the street have done thousands, if not millions, of sales. They are still waiting for new clients to return home with a nice day’s earnings to spend on their children.
Similarly, the same folks are pushing others in the middle of the street to locate a pleasant shopkeeper, where they can get something for their children at a reasonable price and save something for their future. Among them, an innocent face, whose age is barely five or six years old, is sitting with a pen and a copy in his hands, leaning against the wall. He is also of the human race, managed to settle here and earn by weighing these folks. He is unaware of the crowd and is writing and erasing something on the copy with a crude pencil, just like their kings (Virtual runners of Pakistan) write and erase the decisions of the folk.
It was a style, a compulsion or a hobby, but I loved the innocence of her face and despised the ignorance of the crowded market. Pencils, copies, books, poverty, helplessness, and innocent children are all appealing subjects to me and here everything was in a single place. This child was responsible for his own existence. The weighing fork placed in front of the child was hissing and saying that its master’s shoulders were much heavier than his own.
These scenes grabbed me, making my insides tremble. I stared at that innocent face for a long time, who was busy writing without noticing his surrounding. I made the fellows’ advances subject to weighing here. We, four customers were in front of him. However, he was uninterested in us. This is the only shopkeeper I have ever met that is unconcerned about his customers. He has been writing and erasing something at the same time. To start the communication, I adopt a teaching approach. I asked him some questions, but his response was either yes or no. We begin weighing. The silent needle rushes restlessly as soon as the foot reaches the fork. Even this needle’s uncertainty did not change his style. When the needle reports something, he pauses for a while, looks at the needle, and continues to his writing, saying in a very low voice, “ — — — KG.”
There is so much crowd that there is no way to walk in the market. One has to move forward like in a deep forest by removing the branches to find the way. I often think that what is the difference between this crowd and the forest? There is no emotion in this crowd nor in the forest or the trees. Seeing all of this reminds me of an African thinker who is an active scholar and writes on global issues. He claims that;
Human life is filled with a lot of pain. This pain is unbearable. We shouldn’t raise more humans to suffer, and we should end humanity.
When parents put their burdens on the shoulders of their innocent children, it causes me great pain. Parenting styles are categorized as authoritarian, authoritative, neglectful, or permissive in psychology. I have a question for them: where will you put parents like this?