Saturday, 14 March 2009 at about 12.30 pm in front of a Hindu Temple near Deepali Chowk, Outer Ring Road, North-West Delhi, India several tender age children can be seen rolling themselves on the summer hot road under the dictates of their parents covering distance of around 200 meters in order to reach at the gate of the temple to offer prayers to the Hindu deity. These tender age children are the children of the people of the poor and marginalized sections. The parents are literally forcing them to adopt such inhuman and derogatory practice in the hope & belief of being awarded with material prosperity so to compete with the rest of the world. Interestingly, hundreds of passing by rich and wealthy sections of people are just not interested in the world of these poor and unfortunate children.
Such practice is derogatory to the dignity and rights of the child. It exposes and willfully neglects the child in the manner likely to cause such child unnecessary mental and physical suffering. Section 23 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 makes such an act punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or fine, or with both. Article 39 (f) of the Constitution of India provides that the State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing that children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment. Article 51A (h) of the Constitution of India provides that it shall be the duty of every citizen of India to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform.
The Government is constitutionally obliged to protect the rights of the children. It is well said that the children are the future of the country. However, one can imagine that with such kind of inhuman practice, what kind of future we are going to have. Therefore, the Government must take immediate steps to prevent occurrence of such immoral, illegal and derogatory practice.