A child is not born knowing how he or she should behave in their society. Nor would they know how their genders or their parents’ relationship would affect their existence or their participation in the community.
Around seven years ago, I was walking through an open, grassy area in front of my grandparent’s house located in Kalanki, Kathmandu. Like every day, I heard a father scolding his child for no particular reason. He would not only scold him using foul words but make him work as an adult when he was only three years old. I was only fifteen years old at that time, but I knew that something fishy was going on, and I had to take a step towards it.
I talked with a friend of mine, who was of my age and was participating in a training programme related to adolescence and sexual health and life skill along with me. We talked about this issue and decided to take the help of a well-known organisation called CWIN (Child Workers In Nepal).
We thought about it for a while but then looked forward to something else. Since the process to help the child was longer, we then called the Child Helpline Nepal and made them aware of how the child was being affected mentally and physically.
After a few days, we went back to update ourselves about what was happening. It turned out that the father had the boy with his first wife. He then married the woman’s younger sister and had another baby with her. The mother left the kid with his father and left without informing anyone nearby. As a result of all these family dilemmas, the child had to face a lot of obstacles at an early age.
The Helpline people thanked us for letting them know about the helpless child. They warned the father about how he was breaking several laws and would get punished for his obnoxious behaviour towards the innocent child. The father was shocked after realising how brutal he was towards his son.
Until the day I left Nepal, I watched the boy very carefully. His life had changed completely. He was happy socially and emotionally as his father paid equal attention to him along with his younger brother. He started interacting a lot more with the people around him. He was polite and had a smile on his face every time I saw him. Furthermore, we could see him change into a healthy child physically as well.
This incident is one of the proudest moment I have had in these 20 years of my life.