Letter to the Editor: PACI -- Meaghan Buscholl — Dec. 1, 2012

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Editor’s note: A Grade 12 English class at Prince Albert Collegiate Institute has been working on editorials on world issues. Daily Herald managing editor Perry Bergson visited their classroom last month to lend a hand. The results will be showing up the pages of the Daily Herald in coming weeks.

 

Could you possibly even imagine seeing innocent six to 10-year-old children slaving a 20-hour day away in the shadows of a factory or sweatshop? I know I couldn’t and over in foreign countries like India, this happens on a daily basis to poor families.

Child slavery is considered an atrocity and a non imaginable fact in the country of Canada, yet in India it is considered a way of life and a way to make money. Children from the ages of six all the way to the ages of 10 are taken every day from their families and are forced to work long, physically demanding hours with barely any rest and hardly any food.

Many of these poor little souls are beaten, raped, starved and tortured by their employers even though they are actually slave drivers. The average child slave’s schedule is to work long, long hours without food, get an hour break maximum for a tidbit of food just to keep them going, then work the rest of the day until their fingers are raw and swollen.

Many of these child slaves are tricked by their slave owner’s, saying that they are doing a good thing for their families and for their parents, just to cover the horrific crime they are really committing. The raiding party located in the northwest half of India, that saved Rambho interviewed him and this is what he told them when he was bought.  

“Rambho was tricked into slavery after his father died. He worked 16 hours a day weaving carpets. When his fingers bled, the slave owner dipped them in oil and lit them on fire.”

The last time I checked and heard of the laws of Prince Albert, this was ILLEGAL in this city as well in the country of Canada! So why is it that tiny children who do not even have the physical build or any notion of how to build carpets, or picture frames or even shoes, are being forced to work long murderous hours?

Here in Canada we are fortunate and even take advantage of the things we have like not having to sell our children just to feed our other ones. Many of these East Indian people have to send one if not more of their children to slave away just so they can save the dwindling resources they have.

Here in Prince Albert and district we are able to go onto a computer write up a résumé, go to the nearest store, hand it to an employer and, boom, you have a job. People in India do not have that leisure, that option. You are lucky if you can even land a job that gives you enough money to feed a family of one let alone eight.

So people want to know, why should we care, why should we even bother reading about it, it doesn’t apply to us. This is where the reality check comes around to bite us in the butt that yeah we actually do need to care and it does affect us.

We make enough money in a day to probably feed a family in India for a week. So why not step up to the plate and change their economy around. Stop sitting on the couch watching TV and seeing this happen and go “meh, whatever, doesn’t apply or affect me so whatever I don’t need to bother helping someone else out.”

It’s called the “COMMON GOOD” live by it and embrace it to change someone else’s lives better yet those poor innocent children’s lives! If we took maybe a dollar if that out of our paycheque, it would add up to help some poor family in need and if that doesn’t work, set up a booth in your workplace or even a box with a hole in the top for Pete’s sake marked, “Child Slavery Fund Please Donate.”

Every little bit of money helps; it’s time to take action!

Organizations: Prince Albert Collegiate Institute, Daily Herald, Child Slavery Fund Please Donate

Geographic location: India, Canada

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