Haria: The hidden face of Indian Youth

Haria: The hidden face of Indian Youth

Consider yourself lucky that you can read this article “Haria: The hidden face of Indian Youth” and many others, because Haria cannot, and I couldn’t even help him.

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In the midst of the narcissistic society, among so many common faces, this uncommon hidden face of the Indian Youth is somewhere hidden. Haria is that uncommon face I saw, which was lost in this crowd, which could never get him back the biggest asset of his life. This is Haria’s story and I am just the mirror, which is showing the hidden face of Indian Youth.

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“What is your age”, This was the question, which made that super confident and bold kid stammer for the first time.

“Eighteen”, he replied, but soon as I raised my eyebrows, his age decreased to fourteen and a smile ruled his lips.

This story begins at the Delhi station. The train had already arrived at the station and I was still nine minutes away from the station. I was in a rush as I didn’t want to miss the train and also stepping into any other coach would have been a curse for me. So, wanted to reach a few minutes before the train departs and look for my coach and enjoy my journey. But, when it is about me, nothing took place as planned. I didn’t know I was gonna meet someone who was gonna show me the real face of Indian youth.

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I was late and the train had started just after I reached the platform. I didn’t have the time to find my coach so I just stepped into the nearest coach and tried to adjust on any seat. This was the time I realized I am in a superfast train, which will stop only after a distance of around a hundred kilometres. It was not possible for me to do stunts and reach to my coach in the moving train and neither it was possible for me to keep standing for the next hundred kilometres. It was the time for me to look for someone to allow me to sit on his seat. I took a step forward and soon I reached the end of the coach. I had seen all the compartments all of them were crowded. I gathered some courage again and decided to look again. This time I tried to occupy any seat and didn’t look for choices. I tried to sit a lot of times but there was none kind-hearted man to share their seat with me.

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Eventually, I saw a boy sleeping on a seat. I didn’t want to disturb, but I found some space sit. I sat on the seat and thought that surprises are over. But my predictions have never been the truth. The boy woke up as he felt me on around his legs. He gazed at me for a second and then crouched. I really thanked him in mind that he allowed me to sit on his seat, I got more relaxed and this time, I accidentally spilt water on him while drinking. This was bad. He woke up instantly. I apologised and then he shouted at me. He asked me to leave. I was really disheartened at that time. It was just a mistake and the amount of water was also not even that much.

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I just got up of the seat and stood beside. The boy was now up. He explored the beauty outside the window. It had been a while now. I carefully observed the activities of the boy, and constantly developed hatred for him in my mind. He was constantly trying to bossy and was trying to show others that he has a lot of things. He bargained like a grownup man.

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The train was about to reach the next stop in another ten minutes. The boy purchased a food packet for himself. He opened the food packet and looked out of the window. I was the closest man standing near him. He asked, “The train must be one kilometre long, right?”. I think he didn’t remember what he had just done to me. Whatever it was, I was surprised.

A grin came to my lips and brightened up my face. There was nothing big in the question, nothing rare, but this was a question I used to ask my parents when I used to travel with them at the age of ten or eleven.

“Ya, a bit less than a kilometre”, I replied.

The smile was constant on my face when another round of question came from his end.

“How many meters are there in one kilometre?”

“Thousand” I answered.

“And how many centimetres in one metre?

“Hundred,” I replied with a wider smile.

Then he promptly asked, “So, how many feet in one kilometre?”

“One lac” I replied with the same speed and he started laughing.

“Wrong,” he said, and I realised, he had asked for feet rather centimetres. This boy had developed a curiosity in my mind by now. I asked him to tell me the right answer.

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“See, twelve inches is equal to one foot, and one inch is equal to 2.5 centimetres. Now you can calculate and find out.” This was the reply from the boy. I was amazed. I asked him to get calculate and tell me. but he said that he knew only up to this much. He doesn’t know beyond this. Then he also insulted me saying, “You use such a big phone, yet you don’t know how many feet are in one kilometre.” I was still smiling.

I asked him, about his studies and he said, that he does not study’ he earns money at a sewing company in Ludhiana.

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“What is your age”, This was the question, which made that super confident and bold kid stammer for the first time.

“Eighteen”, he replied, but soon as I raised my eyebrows, his age decreased to fourteen and a smile ruled his lips.

My heart filled and I spoke up, what does your father do?

“What will he do? He is at home in the village?” He replied.

I was talking to him, when he asked me, “Do you also work at a factory?”

I said, “No, I am a blogger. But why do you ask so?”

“Blogger, what is a blogger” His curiosity was clearly visible in his question.

I grinned and said, “First you say, why do you think I work at a factory?”

“Look at your finger, we have this kind of thin fingers because we work at a factory. You too have the same so I thought, you work at a factory. Now you tell, what is a blogger?” He said.

I had become his fan by now. I said, “You know what a writer is?”

‘Yes’

“I am a writer,” I said, while he got amazed.

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There were a lot of things I wanted to speak to him at that time; a lot of things I wanted to tell him and know from him.

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Haria, the name got embedded in my mind, and this was not just because he was child labour. He was a different species of that. The biggest weapon he has is his curiosity. Let me tell you this blog and my entire career, and whatever I am, everything of me is because of curiosity.

I felt good. I was in guilt, for every wrong thing that u had thought about that boy. Haria didn’t deserve all that. He was a 14 years old boy working at a factory and earns money on his own. He had money, which he had earned on his own. I remember at that age; a ten rupees note was enough for me to feel like a king. Then, why won’t Haria feel like a king, when he had booked that seat with the money that he had earned on his own.  The way he behaved to me, in the beginning, wasn’t his fault, neither it was mine.

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So, now the question arises here is that who is the culprit. Why can’t that bright kid study? Why does he have to work at a factory?

Is the government responsible for all this? Or his family, who allowed him to go out and work at such a young age?

Whatever it is, one thing I am very sure about and that is that if this kid gets proper resources; if he gets a chance to study, his curiosity will transform the face of the nation, and make it an India, much better than we’ve dreamed of. This is Haria, the real face of Indian youth, which is drowning in the smog of the factories. They need help, they need to be preserved because if they won’t get help, there will be no youth in this nation. There will be noting called Indian youth.

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It is an appeal to all the readers, please do support this cause. I want answers to all the questions above because I don’t want to see any other Haria working at a factory, I want to see that Haria, studying well and helping the nation grow. I would love to hear what we can do to help these kids and what government can do to bring these kids out of this situation.

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