HYDERABAD: Thirteen persons, including 10 child workers, suffered severe burns in a major blast at an illegal cracker-manufacturing factory in Shahinayatgunj in the Old City on Thursday evening. Most of them suffered third degree burns (over 90 per cent). However, three are in a critical condition, Hyderabad collector R V Chandravadan told TOI on Thursday night. - The Hindu.
Two , of the three kids who were gravely burnt and wounded(and who ,later ceased life at hospital), being from my mother's school in Goshamahal, i managed to round up a few nauseating facts firsthand , from the family of the victims.Victims, ....kids ,of a mere ten years of age!
Newspapers actively collected and presented ,facts about the number of people injured and dead.Flashy words to fill in their front pages.Blaming the 'Authorities' ,for negligence.Yes!! But they actually gave very little idea about what ,the injured faced.
The kids that were employed , at the cracker making unit , were promised rupees 10 per hour, if they worked there.They had bunked school , just for the few crackers they were promised for Diwali.Surprisingly, some of the parents , never knew that their kids were working there.(And, even if they did, they did not confess, for the fear of the police). And this wasn't the first time.The kids wouldn't turn up for classes , this time of the year, always!!
Secondly, the kids were locked inside the room , so that public wudn't notice them. It was an illegal cracker-making unit, added to being an act against child rights.Had the door been open/unlocked, there was a light chance (rather than zero chance),that the kids could hav escaped, atleast with fewer burns!! Sadly , in truth, there was little space for break off.
In consequence of the fact that , many such illegal firework factories had been closed down in the recent past,people were out of work.These were the people who completely depended on 'seasonal' work opputunities, and would probably take high risks,in order to feed themselves for the day!
Awareness consistently effusing ,through the underpreviledged classes,owners are desperately finding means to supress any kind of information , regarding rights and previliges of people and children, reaching masses in various areas of Old city. In order to keep up their cheap labour resources, owners of these factories come out with 'fantastic' offers, just so that ,they make their money. Kids ,obviously being their easiest targets.
Business , could turn this inhuman and heartless, no one would have ever guessed!!
And then, people are so damn willing to work under those lifestaking conditions,that if one factory is closed, they simply go about finding another one!! Easy money...well...actually ,any kind of 'extra' money builds in a greed in them.Well, we cannot even call it 'greed' owing to the fact that, these are the people who work their days out for a square meal and nothing more!They are just a bunch of helpless, paralysed pigeons.
It was horrifying to listen to the mother of the kid, who had banged his head against the door,of the room on fire, pleading to open it ,got suffocated and fainted.He was all wounded in the back-side of his head , and was dangerously burnt in the front.Had he not died because of the fire, he would sure hav died , because of the fatality of the injury on his head!!
And at the end of everything, the parents and neighbours of the affected , refused to speak to the press; Some (intelligent ones)because, they did not want to be booked for violation of child rights.....and some (weird ones) because, they did not want to get seen on the television .It was a disgrace to show oneself up on the TV!!
This might sound cruel, but i actually felt relieved , when i heard that those innocents , breathed their last, in the hospital late that night.I felt happy for them, that they did not have to bear it up any longer.I just cant imagine how, those tiny bodies could shoulder all the heat,frustration, suffocation and pain!!
Now, will imprisonment of the person incharge of the factory teach the others a lesson???...A plain NO! ....it ll be the same story again!! Diwali never ends safe , especially if it is in Hyderabad!! And the scapegoats being poor kids, who are wooed with delights of a few extra crackers for diwali, or a hundred bucks, they can pleasure on ,for the festival!! What if this factory is shut down, they ll have ten new ones next year!!