This guy is barely 18, works 10 hours a day and gets paid around 300 Indian Rupees.
I went on a site visit; he didn’t look very happy so I decided to have a little chat with him. Offered him some water and sweets, and asked him to sit and tell me about himself. I’m going to tell you everything he told me in his own words.
“I belong to the lowest of all castes in Hindu religion, my ancestors and I have been treated like objects. We were beaten by upper castes just so they could enjoy seeing us cry and prove their dominance. My mother was asked to take her clothes off in front of my father. My father begged them and was asked to lick their spit off the ground if he wanted my mother to survive.
My father later decided to go against the upper castes and went to look for official help from the police. The police informed the upper castes that my father was seeking to file a report against them.
No report was filed and my father was shot dead the same night. No investigation was done; my father’s murder was declared an accident and we did not get his body to do the rituals.
My mother used to work as a cleaner in the railway station and I have been working as a labour since I was 9. When we accepted our fate and decided not to do anything against them, since it was just my mother and I surviving in the family, and were dependent on one and other.
About a year after my father’s death, the three sons of the same upper caste family went to the railway station where my mother worked and beat her to death with hockey sticks and iron rods. They were aged between 17 and 19. I was left all alone. I moved to another state and have been trying to stay alive ever since.”
I kept a lot of things undisclosed due to obvious reasons. I tried putting myself in his shoes and thought to myself about all the times when I thought things could have be any worse. Hearing his story, my problems suddenly felt too small and not even a fraction of the mental tension that he must be going through all the time.
It’s really sad to see that human beings are still being treated on the basis of the caste they were born in, something they couldn’t choose and can’t change.