The year so far has been uneventful for me. I don't like the word uneventful, so lets just say I raised the bar for what I consider "eventful". Like in the past few years, I haven't done anything on new year's eve. The last time I had "fun" on new year's eve was when I was in this hell-hole-hostel preparing for IIT-JEE. We had a "grand" dinner. I tasted meat for the first time in my life; didn't really like it. Then we saw a couple of movies, broke my new glasses in the excitement of smearing cake on someone else's face, stayed awake till 7 AM and went to my uncle's place to sleep. That new year was special because I knew I would be a different person leading a completely different life by the end of that year and would forget everything I had been through the last one year. I had just one resolution.
That hell hole hostel I was staying breached all acceptable forms of human dignity and they still do. There is not much we can do about it as long as all those pseudo-ambitious parents want their kids to be engineers only because their neighbor's kids are engineers. Fighting that system would take a life time, So for a start, I wanted to start with something where results are quicker.
In institutes such as these, Child labor is rampant. Little kids all of eight or nine are made to do menial chores like cleaning up the premises, washing utensils etc. They were exploited; made to work for 15 hours a day, often trashed and abused for "laziness" all for 800 rupees a month. The money was sent to their parents. The kids themselves got nothing, they slept in rag sacks under the stairs and were given 10 rupees a week to watch the latest movie. Yet no one cared or complained. The people who own these institutes are big in political circles themselves, So they were never charged for anything as far as I know. I couldn't make any noise about this when I was in there because I had important personal goals that needed complete focus and also I was on a scholarship. That new year's eve I resolved that I will do something to stop child labor there.
It was one of the first things that I did after coming to IIT later that year. I contacted this famous organization called Child Relief and You (CRY). I gave them the details of what was happening there and they sent me back an html form to fill. It was mandatory in that form to give details about the children and their parents. I mailed them back explaining my position and got no reply. I made a couple more half attempts and gave up. No one else knows of my futile attempts or how strongly I feel about this because I gave up so easily. This time I wont.
If any of you guys want to help me do this. Please mail me your contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the moon :)