Cruelty to domestic helps

Dhaka,  Monday,   2016-09-19
Published : 19 Sep 2016, 23:06:29
Editorial

Cruelty to domestic helps

Until or unless society reaches the level of development where no child has to work as a domestic help, some mandatory rules should be applied in order to ensure protection for children against physical abuse and violence
The inhuman torture of a nine-year-old girl working as a domestic help at a Gazipur residence has once again exposed how the beast in people leaps out to pounce on the poor and vulnerable. A nine-year-old girl or boy ought to be under the protective care of its parents. When such a small child is sent to work at someone's house, the compulsive factor is definitely grinding poverty of her parents. The question of legality is irrelevant to such parents. But those who employ such children should at least recognise that it is illegal to employ the poor soul. How much work is expected of a girl of this age? Depriving her of her childhood is a crime itself. So what really provokes grown-up couples to unleash violence against such a helpless child is simply bewildering.

Any society that cannot ensure protection of the underage children from drudgery and violence can hardly claim to be civilised enough. Sure enough, this society has failed to raise the minimum awareness of the empathy such poor girls and boys need from their employers. Vulnerability of a small girl is no crime. She cannot be punished for her inability to carry orders beyond her capacity. Even if she becomes the cause of some culinary mishaps in the kitchen or dining room, no one has the right to treat her cruelly. In this case and a few other similar cases, hot iron bar, electric wire and stirring accessories of pans and pots have been used to singe skins all over the victims' bodies. Cruelty was at its worst to indicate the devils in the perpetrators. Such abuses are unthinkable in a civilised society. Economic progress is not all for a society; what matters most is if it is humane enough in its treatment of the weak in society.   

At least this much sense should prevail that if an underage child cannot perform, s/he must be sent to her/his parents instead of subjecting the little one to extreme brutality of this kind. One has the liberty to get rid of someone incapable of delivering but one has no right to cause such bodily grievous harms. Are not these sadists aware of the fact that it is a serious crime to cause such unbearable injuries to a child or anyone? Unless the perpetrators derive sadistic pleasures from inflicting such brutalities, they cannot do it. It is exactly at this point there is need for meting out stringent punishment to these sadists. And no less important is to highlight in media the trial and punishment of these brutes. 

In an ideal society, a nine-year-old child is supposed to be in school and be happy studying and playing. Bangladesh society, evidently, has a long way to go before it accomplishes the task of ensuring such an environment for all its children. Until or unless society reaches the level of development where no child has to work as a domestic help, some mandatory rules should be applied in order to ensure protection for children against physical abuse and violence. Community vigilance and report to the police station not only at the time of appointment but also on a regular basis under a programme of watch and monitoring can perhaps bring an end to such tragic incidents.

 
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Editor : A.H.M Moazzem Hossain
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