This is a story of yesterday, today and tomorrow because yesterday these kids were born, today they are living somehow and tomorrow well no one knows!
It’s their today that matters but is someone bothered? I doubt if someone is!
‘The laps of the Pir Panjals have seen many children being born, playing similar games, whacking the bushes, lifting pebbles and collecting them and taking them to their homes, keeping them hidden from the mothers since for the latter they are just a rubble but for the child more precious than the gemstones and then that mischievous smile before rushing into mom’s hug and going to sleep only to wake up with a cute yawn and the vigorous rub on the eyes with their palms. This is also life, everything looks great especially the smile and one can easily say that the beauty of life is best expressed by an innocent smile of a child and the smile of a child is the inspiration for the future. Great lines indeed but what is the inspiration are we giving to the child who is growing in an ocean as others did in the same regions ever since humanity set its foot on these lands? These children should be having books in their hands so that they begin the journey of life on strong and immaculately sure footing’. Not so the case as of now. Yes I’m talking about the children of the nomads’!
If a child smiles, if an adult smiles, that is very important. If in our daily lives we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. If we really know how to live, what better way to start the day than with a smile? Our smile affirms our awareness and determination to live in peace and joy. The source of a true smile is an awakened mind. But all this comes with awareness and these children have no one to provide them. Putting a smile on these children’s faces can change the world, maybe not the whole world but at least their world! But who will make that happen? The nomads move to the mountains in summers as that is their seasonal routine and along with them their children also move. Yes families have to stay together but the fact is that the childhood of these little things is getting wasted. Not that their parents do not care for them, they love them as we love our children but the difference is that our children have books in hand (so necessary in the formative years) but these children do not have. They grow up as not so knowledgeable beings though about the terrain, the passes in the mountains, the meadows, the streams, the brooks they know everything but that is not enough in these modern times. Therefore when they come down in winter’s the young child girl’s look like Alice in wonderland and the boys like lost kids in the huge circus where every human being is doing something or the other. In winters when they come down the routine is almost the same and hence life passes and they continue doing what their family tradition has been doing down the ages. So the innings that started off with a smile ends up in brooding and sulking faces with no innocence left. This life is cruel but it can be made smooth if books are made available to these children so that they also learn something and absorb the knowledge that can take them far in life. But who will do it? No doubt some initiatives are taken but they all tend to fizzle out mid way firstly because the parents are disinterested and second the officials of the concerned department miss out on something at some place or could be that they too are disinterested!
If you have a look at the picture attached with the story it can be made out that they are doing well. Smile on their faces does tell that they are always happy and content. But are they really? They are sitting in great locales as they do every season but other than that their life is nothing but a hollow empty cube which needs to be filled up.
They are still young and know little about the world. They see each other as quite similar, all of them are humans and have the will to play and socialize. So what if they speak different languages? Their games don’t need any language. But one thing can be easily said: happy children have everything, though poor. Sad children have nothing, though rich. But if books and some sort of facilities are given to them as they deserve, the whole thing will go in their favor and they can improve themselves. But again who will do it?
Children from remote areas of Rajouri, Reasi, PirPanjal, Kandi, Kotranka, Budhal, Chasana and Darhal need attention and the time is now to give it to them. If everyone has the right to education then why not these kids? These kids are far away from understanding abstract nouns except one ‘love’. But they should now be taught another one also, ‘education’. We as parents always say, a child’s duty is to become greater than his parents. Yes we can say that because we are privileged ones but who will tell these children of lesser God’s? Their parents, that would be asking too much from them. They can give them immense love but teaching, I doubt? This is an expert’s job and in mountains you do not find them!