A UNICEF estimate says about 2.50 lakhs children have been recruited as soldiers in various capacities worldwide. In India no such studies have been done to document the life of these child soldiers. The main reasons the children take to guns being extreme poverty and they see rebels leading well-off lives. To them joining the rebels seems like an opportunity to get out of their misery. When the child soldier learns the tricks of the trade and starts getting money, the parents also enjoy a better life style. While the government doesn’t give enough support and compensation for victims, rebel groups step in to act as guardians.
Whats worse is that in most countries, including India, there is no government mandate on what should be done of these children, once they are found during raids or encounters. Can their childhood be returned? NO!
In over twenty countries around the world, children are direct participants in war. Denied a childhood and often subjected to horrific violence, an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 children are serving as soldiers for both rebel groups and government forces in current armed conflicts. These young combatants participate in all aspects of contemporary warfare. They wield AK-47s and M-16s on the front lines of combat, serve as human mine detectors, participate in suicide missions, carry supplies, and act as spies, messengers or lookouts.
November 25 is International Day for Elimination of Violence against women. This day is observed to mark the public awareness about the issue by UN agencies and NGOs worldwide.
Here is a UN initiative against International violence: A web site for A Life Free from Violence: It’s our right. Sadly no national organization from India is listed on organizations page in this web site. 😦
UN has also started an International campaign called 16 days of activism against gender violence from November 25 to December 10.
According to UN definition of violence against women, it not only includes physical, psychological, sexual abuse in the family, child sexual abuse (CSA) of female children, dowry deaths, rape, sexual harassment but also physical, psychological, sexual violence perpetrated or condoned by a state. Acts of violence against women also include forced sterilization and forced abortion, coercive/forced use of contraceptives, female infanticide and prenatal.
You might have guess which of the violence is on my mind. One that is overlooked or perpetrated by state. Recently a news spread like fire on each new site and also on blogosphere: Saudi court punishes a gang rape victim with 200 lashes!
Today is child abuse prevention day!
According to a World Health Organization study, one in every four girls and one in every seven boys are victims of sexual abuse. Scary, isn’t it? But there is more.
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle are 3 Rs for energy conservation and environment. After emphasizing so much on reducing, reusing, and recycling in my last few posts at Visceral Observations, I decided to take a stock of recycling scenario in India. I am shocked!
US and UK have active recycling centers, where consumers come and dump their waste. Electronic waste like LCDs and even tetrapacks are being recycled in other countries! But India has no awareness like that.
In India, recycling is taken care of by people, whom we more than often, relegate to lowest hierarchy of humanity. Yes, all our recycling is done mostly by ragpickers and kabaris! Most ragpickers are young, little above the age to be called kids. Thousands of them pick through garbages in your city. As they sift through garbage unprotected, they absorb toxins from the garbage. They are hunched for hours, which gives them several back and cervical problems at early age.
Delhi alone generates over 7000 MT waste daily. There are a range of materials that are picked up by these ragpickers: plastics, paper, glass, and metals. Studies estimate that these informal labour forces saves the three Municipalities a minimum of Rs. 6 lakhs daily.
October was Breast Cancer Awareness month. Pink ribbon is the International symbol of breast cancer prevention.
Breast cancer is the second most prominent cancer that assails Indian women. Urban Indian women are said to be more susceptible to breast cancer than rural women. A woman with family history of breast cancer is 15% more susceptible to the disease.