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THE WORLD FROM MY LENSES (How a young child labor victim feels)

November 16, 2018 by admin

It is Friday night and everybody has gone out to eat. Madam told me to eat the leftovers from my lunch this morning, but I really don’t like eating stale roti. It is so hard I can hardly chew on it. I loved the noodles I got for snack in the evening. Back in my village, we hardly ever get to eat such fancy food.


Village…I still remember my days back in the time when I used to live with my parents. My village is so far away from here that when I go to the roof of the house I’m working in now, my village seems to look like a tiny dot. I like to imagine my aama working in the field or preparing delicious dhido for us, the image always warms up my heart. I wish I could see her from up here but she is so far away, she’s not even a tiny dot.

Didi- madam’s eldest daughter and my favorite person- told me where my village was one day when we were playing catch-catch on the roof. My God! All I could see was big big hills! I never thought this world was so large!

I hate it when didi goes back to hostel. Madam is so strict; she keeps beating me whenever I make a mistake. Back when I first left home with my uncle to work in the city, my aama said I was 6 years old. I think that means I am 7 now. I don’t think it’s really my fault that I keep dropping things…everything is just so heavy for me to carry; those pots and pans seem to be heavier than I am. But still it is me who gets slapped….I guess that’s because those pots and pans are so expensive that madam will not dare beat them so she beats me instead.

I like everyone around here because they give me enough food to eat. I don’t like getting beaten but my friends tell me that they get treated even badly. One time one of my friends said she was made to do very dirty things by the sir of her house when there was no one and they were alone (I don’t know what she meant by dirty though, but I did not want to look like a fool among my friends so I acted like I knew. I guess that means she was made to do gardening…that’s the dirtiest work, it has so much dirt in it…). That is why my friends say I shouldn’t complain. But when madam’s youngest son who is about a year younger than me beats me with his bat when he is angry, it hurts so much. I can’t even yell because madam hates it even when I speak loudly, if I yell especially at her darling son, I can’t even imagine what she’ll do! I’m just 7; I definitely don’t want to die already! I haven’t even gone to school properly.

When I was in my village, I never got to go to school because I have about 6 siblings and grandparents, so my parents could hardly manage enough to eat twice a day. But here, madam sends me to school and that’s the reason why I don’t want to leave this place. I want to study and become a much respected person one day and have people flocking around me like they flock around my sir. That is why I’m working so hard now. I don’t cry when I get beaten and even when I miss aama because one day I want to be very rich and buy her everything I see in the market, especially that red sari because aama always wears an old red sari that has started looking brown now. To get nice things, we have to work hard for it.

I guess that’s how life works…now to just figure out how to chew this roti without wounding my gums again; maybe if I dip it in dal….


-Shreesha Bista


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