A child who is supposed to have a playful childhood comes to Dhaka from the village in search of livelihood. In extreme family hardship, her parents cannot afford to feed her properly and so they decided on sending their child to Dhaka.
She did not want to leave her family, although she was told that the family, where she was going to work, will take proper care of her, send her to school and nurture her like their own child.
Rather, she preferred the Tamarind tree by her house where birds sing in mesmerizing tone. She is, in fact, very attached to that tree. So, whenever she gets a chance, she goes to the tree to observe the activities of the birds. Her young heart tries hard to understand the words of those birds.
Her mother forbids her to go near the tree. She also tries to frighten her by saying that a ghost lives in that tree. But, all her efforts went in vain.
The day when people came from Dhaka to take her, she went to her most favorite place, under the tree and cried for a while. Still, she had to leave her family and move to a new world.
The sound of her cry diminishes as the sight of her village blurs slowly. When she arrived in Dhaka, she was taken to a house in Mohammadpur. Meeting her for the first time, the housewife poured all her disgust upon her.
The housewife harshly asked her, “What’s your name?”
She replied in an indistinct and trembling voice, “Aduri.”
Mocking her name, the housewife shouted again, “Go, get inside.”
When Aduri was told about her tasks, she could not believe that she would have to do all these works alone. On failing to do a task assigned, she was tormented often mentally and physically. The house became a hell to her and she became blank.
Thereafter, a new horrifying chapter of her life starts.
She was beaten with anything the housewife gets near her. After some days, those incidents of physical violence left marks on her whole body and the physical pain tormented her day and night.
One day she ran away from the house for failing to endure the torment and then people get to know about this crime. For child abuse case, the housewife gets a life sentence. Aduri also got back to her home. But those memories still hunt her, she cries and screams in her sleep.
Her story was just an example which we came to know later and which received justice in lower court. We do not know, but, similar incidents are taking place around us every day. It is happening in those places where children are working for quenching their hunger.
According to World Vision, 100 crore children around the world are becoming the victims of physical violence every day. 82% children between the aged f 1-14 years face physical violence everyday in Bangladesh. 57% children face this when they are in their workplace and 77% face this when they are in school.
We should not forget that by doing such heinous crimes, we are leaving a crisis of awareness for the next generation. Will these abused children be able to develop healthy feelings? Will they be able to express their genius and talent?
There are many parents in our society who want to show their authority over their children by beating them. They announce it openly that without good beating, a child does not flourish. Is it really the fact? Or is it the opposite?
There are several Drug Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers under the supervision of the Social Welfare Department of the government. According to a survey conducted by the Department of Social Welfare, 70 percent of the drug addicts are beaten regularly by their parents.
Any physical torture may lead to the destruction of a child. Carelessness, negligence and physical violence misguide a child and may lead to astray. However, if the parents spend some time with their children, their relationship with their children becomes friendly. And when the parents and the children are friends, there is no question of physical violence.
Rather, torturing children explicates mental illness of the parents. No normal parents can torture their own children and only beating the young minds will never help them develop. Therefore, we must remove such unscientific and irrational ideas from our society.
It happens when parents come home with all the troubles and pressure of office. They rage their temperament upon their children. It leaves a negative impact on the child’s mind.
A school is a place where children develop and spend most of their time after home. They learn their life lessons at school. But, there are many teachers in Bangladesh who follow the ideologies of the medieval age. They believe, beating a student is the best strategy to help him or her to develop.
Many students who were the victims of such physical violence in educational institutions have died and many have become crippled physically. But most of them lost their interest in education. This ultimately ends up with drop-out from the school.
Studies show that one of the main causes of drop-out in education is physical violence. The government has formulated a policy in 2011 to stop the physical violence of children in schools. Even after the policy, physical abuse of children has not stopped in the educational institutions. It requires a change in our mentality and increase awareness among us.
Likewise, the society has a responsibility to provide protection to those children who go to the workplace for livelihood. It is also the responsibility of the owner to ensure safety for the child. All of us should remember that there is no heroism in hurting a child.
This is a great sign that World Vision Bangladesh, in partnership with other organizations, has engaged in the global campaign “It takes me to end physical violence against children”. The intended target of this campaign is to help the government to end the abuse, exploitation, trafficking, and all forms of violence and torture against children in light of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
If we want to achieve the SDGs, we must stop physical violence on children. If the children cannot grow up normally and with a fresh mind, we, as a nation, will fall on the face.
We certainly do not want it. So, let us swear today, no physical violence against the children. We have to do this, for our future.