It's been more than seven decades since our country got independence. Since then, India has achieved several heights in the field of science, art, games, infrastructure and what not. From manufacturing missiles to building healthy relationships with the other countries our motherland has left no stone unturned to make India a better place to live in. Is this true? Is this how it looks like? Is our India the safest place? Is it developing?
Well, to answer all these perplexed questions one needs to look into this country with a naked eye from its root to the top.
India still incorporates many societal evils in it, for instance, human trafficking, poverty, begging, child labour, prostitution etcetera. These practices are still effecting the growth of our nation and remain as the biggest issue in our country. According to studies there are almost half a million people involved in begging. Begging is not that easy to eradicate from its root. There are organised groups who are well trained in this area and working as an organised gangs to make money out of it. Begging is prevalent almost everywhere in India, from touristy areas to outside of temples small kids along with other partners are begging all wounded begging in torned swatches of clothes on them with filthy smell around them. As we all know that India is a youth centric nation. So, if we all come together to eliminate this issues of child begging from the nation, then it is not something impossible to deal with. For this mission many youths are also working to make India free of begging. In this Ashish Sharma, a mechanical engineer who has left his job to deal with this issue. He has shared his experiences with News Times Post and told us on which area he is focusing the most. Also shared how he wish to see India where all children are going to school and are able to fight for their own rights where they will lead the life on their own.
Ashish Sharma is a man with a mission. He wants to eradicate beggary from entire nation. On the trail of his 'Beggar-free India' campaign, who has decided to cover 17000 km by doing foot march around the country. In this mission he is more after bringing psychological changes instead of putting event awareness.
According to him, if writing is meant to bring changes in society then the youth of today's world would not have been into drugs, smoke, drink and tobacco.
If memorandum of leaders for the farmers are meant to better the condition of farmers then why are they protesting every month? If the protests against the rape victims are meant to stop this inhumane act, then why a teen age girl is scared of leaving her house in the dark. After multiple policies why there is still illiteracy in our country. So, the major issue is that we do not work on psychological prospect of the problems in our country.
72 years of independence are more than enough to ensure that every child is happy getting all the rights he own, from education to live his life out of all the social evils. But, is this really the current scenario? Ashish says, the issues which we can eradicate from its roots must be vanished instead of keeping a control on it, for instance child begging.
He is on a mission to eradicate child begging from its root. It was on August 22, 2017, when he started his ‘Unmukt India’ campaign to create a 'Beggar-free India', to spread awareness on child-beggary and to completely eradicate the practice. Ashish set out to cover 17,000 kms on foot across the country, to educate people not to give money to child beggars, to interact with government officers and various social organisation. He walks for around 30 km everyday and interacts with 3,000 to 4,000 people he meets on the streets, in malls, in institutions, offices and so on. Till now he has covered 14,597 kilometres.
He said I chose foot march for my campaign keeping in mind the concept of 'Sanatan Dharma' in which people used to walk and while doing so they develop immense relationship with each other. He further narrated how one incidence changed his entire life. One evening returning home from work he saw a thin and lean child with a bleeding hand, begging. Moved by the pathetic sight, he took the child home, gave him first aid, some new clothes and got him enrolled in a nearby school. But he did not stop there. In fact, the incident changed his life. Deciding to pursue this issue, he quit his job and embarked on a journey to cover the entire country on foot to create awareness against children begging.
“After doing extensive research, I concluded that the condition was going from bad to worse. The government-run welfare schemes but they are not reaching those who actually needs them, because of lack of awareness,” he told us.
Then he decided to embark upon the country-wide foot march to create awareness among the masses. “We cannot make people aware unless we meet them personally and a countrywide tour was perhaps the best way to meet the masses,” he added.
His started his journey from Jammu on August 22, 2017 covered Jammu, Himachal pradesh , Punjab , Chandigarh , Haryana , Rajasthan , Gujrat , Daman , Silvasa , Maharastra , Goa , Madya pradesh , Uttrakand , Up , Bihar , Sikkim , Assam , Arunachal Pradesh , Nagaland , Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Meghalaya , west Bengal , Jharkhand , Chhatishgarh, odisha , Andhra pradesh , Telangana now in karnataka .
“Journey on foot was not at all an easy task but my goal to make India a nation free of child begging kept me going,” he said.
When it was asked if this walking would help in the eradication of beggary he replied: “No it won't directly but this is just a first phase. As soon as I complete my journey me and my supporters will organise a huge rally in New Delhi for awareness and then we will start sending children in schools from village levels.” For that he has programmed a mobile application named ‘Duayen’ in which he has connected schools, hospitals, police stations, administrative officials and other government establishments. “The application is in the testing phase. I am planning to launch the application also, the day when I will be celebrating ‘Unmukt Diwas’. The mobile applications can be of great use in identifying the lost kids and child beggars, helping them reach their homes,” he told News Times Post.