ARY Special

Varun Pruthi's video highlights child labour tragedy

Actor Varun Pruthi’s video highlights one of the biggest social problems prevalent in South Asia and that is, child labour.

The actor spots a five year old boy hungrily eying a Mcdonalds outlet from outside. Varun invites the boy inside to have something to eat. The trip inside the franchise seems to be the boy’s first and this becomes apparent when, daunted by the environment, he asks Varun to stay by his side. As they wait in line, Pruthi asks the child a couple of questions, the answers to which reveal that the boy sells pens for a living at the tender age of five. To Varun’s question of whether the boy seeks an education by going to school, the child has a question of his own. “If I will not sell pens, then how will I feed myself?” he asks. “If I go to school, how will I feed myself?”

As Varun and the boy amble their way towards a table to cherish their meal, the child starts savoring the taste of his burger. Upon being informed that both burgers are his, the five-year-old innocently informs Varun that one he intends on taking home for his sister. The actor then questions his companion regarding his mother, father and sister. To which the boy, in between breaks from savoring his meal, informs him regarding the ill condition of his mother and his father passing away. It becomes apparent to the actor that supporting the family rests on the tender shoulders of the child, whose supposed to be in school attending classes that would shape his life into something better.

After they are done with the meal, Varun buys the whole stock of pens from the boy, paying an additional Rs.50 in the process. Before racing off, with a satisfied belly and a jiggling pocket, Varun asks the boy what he intends on doing with the money, to which he replied ,”I will eat food.”

 

The above video raises lots of questions for our society as well. According to reports, there are an estimated 19 million child labourers in Pakistan. Our country’s population is comprised of almost 40 million children, which means nearly half of them are on the streets, working for petty amounts.

The issue at hand is the fact that Pakistan has a mammoth population which it cannot benefit from as long as they are unskilled, uneducated. The best way to tap into our growing population and turn this menace around to our benefit, is to educate these children. It is imperative that the government of today and for all governments to come, education within Pakistan should be made affordable. For street vendors, the under-age maids or shopkeepers who should really be grappling with problematic mathematical questions or enjoying a Roald Dahl novel in their story session, life presents no hope. The real way to be thankful to God is to give back to the society in the right manner is to contribute and speak up against the government’s inaction against the menace of child labour.

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