Selling stationeries, a new trade for destitute children in Mysuru

Children indulged in selling stationeries for their livelihood at prime traffic signals across the city, is a common sight these days.

They approach the commuters with handful of stationeries that include pens, pencils, window screens of cars and other items. This is not only a heartrending sight but also, shows the hapless state of the children, who are also traumatised.

Nivedhi (name changed), a 15-year-old girl from Bihar, who was found at Dasappa Circle, said, she had to earn money for her daily needs. If she does not earn at least Rs 50 a day, she has to go hungry.

She says, she came to the city along with her uncle, a helmet vendor, a month ago. “I lost my parents when I was too young to know anything. So, my uncle is looking after me. I have to pay him money to take care of me,” she said. Nearly, 15 members from her place have migrated to the city in search of a livelihood. Few of them, spend the nights near the railway station and a few in rented rooms, she added.

Like her, many have migrated from Assam, Rajasthan, Bihar and parts of North India in search of a livelihood.

As tourist inflow is high round the year and because of special events, they chose Mysuru.

“During special events like Dasara, we earn handsomely. After Dasara, we visit our native for one or two months. It is inevitable for us to send our children to earn money,” said Usma, a woman doing business near Aishwarya Petrol Bunk on Hunsur Road.

Women and Child Development department authorities claimed that even though the children were sent back to their native villages in the recent past, they have returned.

The authorities concerned suspect human trafficking is the main reasons for the menace. Besides, lack of education and awareness and poverty also result in migration and child beggary.

Women and Child Development Deputy Director K Radha said, after Police and Child Line authorities conducted several raids in parts of the city to control child beggars, many have deviated to selling stationeries on streets. “Recently, the department has rescued a 12-year-old boy, who was involved in ‘Matka-pani’ business. The boy is allegedly trafficked from Assam. If human trafficking is checked, the menace will automatically come down,” she says.

Deputy Commissioner C Shikha had recently convened a meeting in this regard and the authorities are chalking out plans to rehabilitate these children in Mysuru.

“We need support from all the departments to tackle the menace,” she says.
Child Welfare Committee (CWC) Chairperson Sheela Khare, says, “We have no sufficient information in this regard. The CWC organises meet twice a week and necessary measures will be taken immediately. The Women and Child Welfare department can rehabilitate the children under ‘Integrated Child Development Plan,” she said.
DH News Service

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