Childhood is the best period of one’s life. Everybody says that because they have experienced it. It’s a beautiful phase: no worries, no thoughts, nothing. All you had to do was play, enjoy and do a bit of studies. All worries you had were if you completed your homework on time, if you won a basketball match, who participated in the debate competition, whose science project was the best, who wanted to be the class monitor and more. Everything you thought to achieve was in your control. Ok, sometimes you lost. But you had things in your control. All you had to do was work hard, stay focussed. Things were clear, what you wanted, what your friends wanted, what your best friend wanted, everything was open. You said what was on your mind without thinking of the consequences. Everything was honest and full of innocence. Most importantly, nobody gave you a lecture about being immature. That was an age to have fun and you had it.
But there is one secret, deep and dark that lies within a child. She is so scared of it that she doesn’t think about it. She doesn’t share it with anyone not even with her best friend. But, this little girl has no idea that what she has gone through, there are many more, who suffered the same and had remain quiet just like she did. Maybe her best friend was also one of them but she did not share it with her.
According to a survey done by Times Of India, more than 53% of children suffer child abuse.
This is just a fact, but we all know the truth and we are too much cultured to talk about it. Yes, this Indian Society of ours, claim to be the most rooted to traditions and highly-cultured. We can talk about everything but when it comes to such issues, we are silent.
I, as a child have gone through this and did not utter a word because I was too scared to talk about it, maybe I would have been slapped for talking rubbish. When I grew older and gained the courage, I talked to my elder sister. She then shared that she has gone through the same. We talked to our mother. She listened and remained quiet. I was furious over her for not doing anything. We remained quiet and this became our one of the many secrets. Then, I grew older. My younger sister shared her sufferings with me. She has also gone through the same. This gave me a disgusting feeling. We talk about this within ourselves and then remain quiet. We do nothing but remain quiet. Why is it so? I had many questions in front of me. But no answers. I felt helpless. Who do I look up to? My mother? She is more helpless than us. We cannot talk about this to our father. Its not the fear of talking to him about such issues but the fear that he may react the same as my mother.
This ridiculous thing happens to every second child in our family. We do nothing but suppress it because this is against our culture. Some sick people come into our beautiful lives and leave a dark black mark which is impossible to erase. We are asked to remain quiet. But why? For whose sake? People will think bad about us instead of the culprit. And these sick people, if by any chance are wealthy and powerful, nobody dares to talk against them. And again, we are asked to remain quiet.
I could not do anything to undo this in my life or my sister’s life. But I took a pledge, if by any chance, I hear something related to it in future, I will not remain quiet. So, I talked to my younger cousins openly about it. I asked them if anything happens like that, just tell me. I am not scared of these sick, rich people. I will show them where they stand. Its high time we start talking openly to the younger kids in our family. Otherwise, we will face another suffering generation and we will be able to do nothing but remain silent.