Friday, April 10, 2009

Innocence lost in the world of infraction…

Last month, with the help of our coalition partners (EITC), we (at Love146) coordinated a conference based on the global human trafficking scenario on the Internet at UC, Berkeley. I was much privileged to be invited and interacting with leading social reformers and ardent activists. The discussions over breakfast, lunch and dinner transcended from the condition-analyses of domestic trafficking, to the situation at East-Europe and South/South-East Asia. From the causes, to the effects, mitigation processes and like most of the issues today, eventually to the lack of judicial intervention, federal expedient and Government policies. I solely agreed and returned heavy-hearted to my daily drudgery in a public school where I’d been teaching for the last six months.

Right after returning, to my utter disbelief, I got the news of a pregnant student eloping with her boyfriend who is supposed to be ten years older than her! I just couldn’t help worrying myself about the fate of the young girl. What if her boyfriend is a trafficker? After all, what kind of man would impregnate a child and prompt her to run away with him?

Then I thought why am I so shocked? In a society, where before knowing your Newton or Byron, you learn to show some skin, paint your face and flaunt your cleavage, while for the male counterparts, your dignity slip by your flowery underwear, dripping down your knees, where you’re lured to taste the forbidden fruit just to be in vogue at the pupil-dom, aren’t you massively prone to such catastrophe?

Yes, we made this society, where five year olds are showcased in cocktail wears at beauty pageants; ten year olds are on a diet spree; its chic to flash your whole life to 300++ people, known or unknown on Facebook/Myspace/Orkut ; you’re a misfit in the society if you don’t have an i-phone and an i-pod and you’re thoroughly un-cool if you don’t have a boyfriend/girlfriend by the time you’ve learnt to spell it! In Budapest, you can buy a kiss at the traffic signal with $5, in Delhi you can sleep with a college girl with $10, in Quito, you can check out a teenage girl’s tattoo near her private parts with $15. And let me tell you, this $5, $10 or $15 don’t necessarily go to buy bread for the family all the time but often spent on the latest gadgets and designer clothes.

This is the sexed up, material-dominated, value-infringed society that we have subjected our children to…

Yes, we need Government protocols, gender consciousness, child-rights, global peace et al to stop sex trafficking in macro level but what exactly is our individual contribution in safeguarding our home from such devastating consequences? Are our children really safe with us, let alone the predators out in the world?