The parents were promised that their children will be going to school and will be taken care of by Biradamani Beang, who has been visiting these settlements since 2002. The parents had no idea they were signing a document declaring their chldren as orphans. Since the children left, there has been no news of them and now even Beang is untraceable. After a missing person complaint was filed, seven children were located, each with a horror story of his/her own. One of the missing children was found in an Anand Marg ashram in Shillong. He said he had worked as domestic help. The educational secretary from Anand Marg denies the allegation of children having gone missing from the ashram.
But, it is sad that the ashram can’t even account for them and wouldn’t have bothered to track them if somebody didn’t raise questions. These children are actually being taken to placement agencies in other states and sometimes across the border to Bangladesh to be suppiled as domestic help and sometimes, worse for prostitution.
We talk of child labour laws and debating the idea of what age is ok for children to start working and education being the one tool for their upliftment. But when organisation meant to give the children a break have employees flouting this main purpose, it is disappointing.