Friday, November 6, 2009


A recent report in the newspapers said, that, the lady taking care of a seven month baby had rented out the baby to beggars.The mother came across this bit of information as she arrived home early one day from work to find the baby missing from home.The maid was watching the idiot box.When she was quizzed about the baby,she replied, that the baby was also on work with beggars !The mom then realised that the baby was regularly drugged & thus was drowsy in the evenings.No police case has been filed by the parents so far, as they feel that they will be blamed for all this.

It is naive & utter foolishness to expect that ayahs will behave like Paanna dai of the Rajputs who sacrificed her own child so that the prince could live.Suppose,I have a bai to take care of my kid & there is an emergency at the home of the bai.At that moment ,it is a basic human trait that the woman will rush & tend to her emergency rather than take care of my kid.I would have acted similarly had I been in her place.

Now,in such a case, can one really blame the nanny ? Well,as the parents were so busy earning,the nanny opined, that money was scarce & the baby also needed to earn !The baby was drugged to keep away the pain of fatigue which is a result of begging sorry, working ! Probably,the parents are upset, that the earnings of their child were all being usurped by the ayah.Or maybe,the baby was earning more as compared to the the parents due to recession !

Begging is a crime & so a case will be filed against the ayah soon.But then ,how can only the ayah be at fault ? The ayah comes from a class which is just trying to somehow exist-so atleast,her act is understandable.Trying to book the ayah is like the State tackling the naxal problem- first ignore their cries for assistance & then annihilate them by force !

What about the agency which does the recruitment? Well,we all are too familiar with the scenario wherein,once we get the required certificate,we care a damn about keeping up that standard.So,this is what has happened, in all probability.We all are so materialistic now, that we will go to any extent to earn a few bucks !What is more important -our child or our job ? But for us,both are equal & so we end up putting the child in day care or under a maid & off, we go, to work.Sometimes,the grandparents take care of the child.But increasingly,grandparents are no longer young to attend to the brats & hence day care becomes a necessity.Indian youth are getting married very late & by the time,they opt for kids,their parents are so old that they themselves need care.

But ,is it necessary, for both the parents to earn-in all the cases ? Many times,it is to satisfy our inflated egos,to make use of our education,to kill time, to earn pocket money, etc that we slog, leaving our loved ones under care of others.This may include our kids,our parents,inlaws,etal.Some lucky few do have their parents- able & willing, to double up as caretakers of the grandchild.Sometimes, the caretaker may abuse the child or the senior citizen or someone with special needs.We also commonly take recourse to saying that we are earning today for a better future.But if the present is lost,is anything left for the future ?

What can be done to prevent this ? In the west,there was this trend of having hidden cameras to keep a chek on the caretaker. But, this may backfire, sometimes, as not all of us, can withstand the routine of our caretakers however atrocious it may turn out to be.This is not to say that all caretakers are bad but then,we have to be cautious.Recently, more & more cases are being reported wherein kids are being abused by mothers & fathers.So can grandparents be far behind ?Similarly,senior citizens are physically & mentally tortured by their own grown up children for money,property ,etal.If this is so,the less can be said about persons with special need.Their abuse goes unnoticed for years.

All said & done,parents are still the best bet for the kids & next ,the grandparents & then day care.
In conclusion,unless,required,one parents should stay at home to be the caretaker.Of course,it is a thankless job, as any homemaker will tell you, but regretting later is an exercise in futility.

So in the finality,it is our own greed which drives us to go & earn leaving our loved ones behind.This is the same greed which has coerced the ayah to earn more by renting out the baby to beg.So,if our greed is good,how can we classify that of the maid as cruel ? We should emulate the Mahatma by accepting aparigraha-limiting our wants.After all,as he opined,"There is enough in the world for everybody's need but not enough for even one person's greed."

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1 comment:

Amari said...

wonderfully written! I totally agree on this one. With respect to this case, it becomes important to ensure the credentials of the caretaker are verified. Verifying credentials is yet to take off in a hugely populated country like ours but well, somebody needs to start right? maybe with the UID project, people will be more accountable for this as they can be tracked for any abuse they might inflict on the victim! Of course taking care of our loved ones is definitely top priority & nothing, no nanny or ayah can replace that! Money comes & goes, but your family is what stays all along! God Bless.

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