India is struggling to overcome a culture rooted in slavery.
Some in the middle class in India view their practice of taking poor children from their families as a “noble” cause. They tell themselves that they are saving them from hunger and extreme poverty. And they use ridiculous euphemisms that conceal the truth of what they are doing.
Here are some excepts from a well written article by Amelia Gentleman of Internation Herald Tribune | Asia – Pacific.
“Most argue that they are doing something noble by helping feed and clothe poor village children,” he said. “But the maids are usually badly dressed and hungry.”
“A lot of euphemisms are used,” she said in an interview. “These girls are known as ‘playmates’ for babies and ‘household helps.’ We have to repeat the message that this is a crime.”
“I know about the legislation, but it doesn’t apply to me,” she said. “I’m a good employer. I’m not doing anything criminal.” As to why children make such good servants, she said: “It’s easy to order them around. If they make a mistake, you can twist their ears.”
Clearly this is an issue that is not going to go away easily. Enforcement alone will not be enough. A massive public awareness campaing is needed to drive home the severity of the issue.