The Silent Scream
by Siddhartha Garg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
We, the people of India, are indeed proud to be a citizen of the largest democracy of the world.
A democracy that promises through her constitution to all the fellow citizens- justice, – -social, economical and political and fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual.
But when you read a newspaper-any day newspaper- you will find that they are robbed of their human dignity in every minute, every second. They mean the weak and the vulnerable. They include women, marginalised, helpless…..
And they include the children, the softest prey of the vultures……..
And don’t think that the newspaper will tell you the whole story-it is only the tip of the iceberg. The majority of the cases go unreported. In most of the cases the child abuses occur at homes of the victims-committed by relatives. The family structure of Indian homes makes children highly dependant on elders and parents-and they are expected to be obedient to them. Sheer fear of further insult forces the children to keep their mouths shut! The problem spirals with socioeconomic issues prevailing-malnutrition, lack of education, basic hygiene; social neglect etc. the occurrences of child abuse in institutions are seldom given attention by the law enforcers. That’s why it is often gone unreported.
53% of Indian children are abused sexually and 50% of cases the abuser is in trust or with some sort of relationship with the abused-says a 2007 study by the Department of Women and Child Development. But as majority of the cases go unreported-you can easily assume the magnitude of the problem. Sometimes there are ripples in the pond ,when celebrities like Kalki Koechlin digs up the experience of horror from her childhood days-for some days cases reported makes it to the headlines and nobody cares. We again start to relish the news with a cup of hot coffee in the safe haven of our drawing room, until….
Until, one day the same heinous crime is committed to our little angel.
From this viewpoint ‘The Silent Scream’ by Sidddharta Garg is a pious attempt to make us aware about the horrific face of the child abuse in India. The techie turned activist, in his crusade against one of the filthiest crimes of India-gathered the materials of the book. The book is divided into three sections. The first part is a real life story of Harshita- a child from an affluent background. The second part is consisted of ten real life traumatizing experiences of some children-both from the elite and marginalised strata of Indian society. The third part can be categorized as a valuable ready reckoner of child abuse-starting from causes of child abuse of India to the legal tooth against child abuse and self help tips.
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