Sunitha’s TED talk

Name: Dr. Sunitha Krishnan,  40,   mental health worker.

Work :  Giving voice to the voiceless sex-abuse victims ; an identiy to these ‘Anamikas’ ; helping them build up self-confidence  Has  rescued and rehab-ed  3,200 sex-abused females, aged  from three years to 40.

Motivation :  Gang-raped by eight men when she was 16 ; ostricised by society for the next two years.

Job hazard:   Has been beaten up many times by  thugs,  pimps and brothel keepers ; one of her staff members was killed in her effort to  rescue  a sex-abused woman.

Her TED talk:  12.42 mins  indictment of  our society;  scathing commentary on victimisation of victims of sexual abuse.

Her poser:   Would we accept one of these Anamikas  into  our homes as maid, house nurse or nanny ? Would we feel comfortable with  their children playing and moving  with ours ? Till such time there are not enough of us who can say,  ‘Yes, we will’,   Sunitha feels her work wouldn’t be done.

Her wish:  Each of us talks  this through to at least two others in our family and social circle. They,  in turn, could do the same with two of their contacts.

My wish:  All TV channels,  notably,  those dedicated to religious faiths, should telecast Sunitha’s TED talk.

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Child labour in posh flats

Snag is many of us don’t even see any wrong-doing in employing  child labour for household work.  And many who have a chokra or mundu in residence believe they are  doing the  unfortunate children and their parents  a huge favour by  giving them a livelihood.  Children in household jobs are,  in most cases,  brought from the employer’s native village with the consent of  their parents.

In  a few cases a  faithful boy from the village comes with a bride in the family, as part of  the ‘dowry’ she brings. Our movies glorify  child labour by portraying the leading man in a family drama as someone who came into the family as chokra . Viewed in the light of the middle-class indifference to the issue and  the domestic compulsions of parents who send their children out to  work in cities,  The Hindu report makes refreashing reading.  According to the report,  it was the Mangalore media that first took it  up with the authorities.  The newspaper not only played the story on  Page One, it also identified the  wrong-doers –  a  local businessman and a doctor couple.  Whether or not they get punished under the  law such negative publicity may well be deterrent  to others in their social circle.