Monday, February 05, 2007

At the Traffic Signal

While waiting at the red light here in Melbourne, the one thing that is way too different to the red lights in Hyderabad are not the honkers or the rule breakers who jump red lights, but an absence of human life on the sides of the roads.

The main reason for me visiting my family in Hyderabad was to spend time with my 20 month-old niece, whose precious moments of growing up I may be losing for ever. In the course of my visit my sister had given her unboiled water and my niece had to suffer 2 whole days of dehydration. A few days later I saw a 2 year old child on the footpath near a major intersection, her face was covered with grease and she looked very happy in doing whatever she was doing. I am sure that the kid doesn't get boiled water or good food or baby oil or baby shampoo, yet she was healthy and looked happy.

The one thing about us Indians is that we choose to ignore such things (I am guilty of it as well), the feeling of helplessness at that traffic signal overwhelmed me.... till the light turned green. If you cannot do anything else then give the kids on the roads a toffee, a ball or a used doll. I am sure that it won't get those people out of the roads, but please do not ignore them as they deserve a childhood as well.