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When Will The Cruelty End: The Mistreatment of Child Servants in Pakistan

Before we begin to fully process and analyze the situation, let us look at some facts.

The deceased in question is Uzma, a sixteen-year-old girl who had started work as a housemaid eight months ago. The events that led to her demise are as mind-boggling and appalling as the description of her corpse which was eventually found in a drain located in Neelam Block, Iqbal Town, Lahore. While nothing could possibly justify torturing a mere child to death, Uzma’s employers demonstrated their inhumanity for all to see; hitting her in the head with what is reported to be a sharp object. Why? You ask.

Simply because she ate – nay – took one bite from the plate of her employer.

Not only does the mere act of eating food from someone’s plate not qualify as a crime but it also does not, in any manner, warrant the brutalities that the poor child had to endure at the hands of the barbarians that made her life miserable.

Let us now talk about the injuries that were inflicted on Uzma. A face covered in multiple, dark bruises. Cuts on her chest and tongue. Reports also indicated that the child had been deprived of proper medical attention after being beaten by two women and to add to the sheer inhumanity of the crime, the women had apparently used electric shocks in an attempt to rouse her from unconsciousness.

Does a child have to die before this nation learns to admit their mistakes and make amends for the future? Not only does this author vehemently oppose hiring young children to take care of chores that should be done by an adult in the first place but also any form of labor that threatens to strip children of joy, innocence and the promise of a better future. When will we learn to accept that we are adults and therefore it is our responsibility to take care of the chores in our households? When will we understand that there is no shame in washing our own dishes or cleaning our houses or doing the basic tasks that in all actuality indicate that we are responsible, efficient adults? Why do we need to strip a child of their right to education, of their right to live the carefree childhood we would want for our own children, by burdening them with work that we’d never have our own children do?

When will we treat all children as equal?

How did we end up here? So brutal and cruel that we’re willing to assault and torture a fragile child, starve her to death and then shock her with electric currents. This death is only one in a regrettably, appallingly large number of deaths caused every year in Pakistan as a result of child servants being mistreated in all kinds of household. This author pleads readers to take a firm stand against any and all such observed ongoings in their own communities and to stop mistreating and abusing domestic help, especially children.

Let’s take one step forward and take decisive actions to make for a more habitable, comforting place for young children. Let us begin our quest for justice from our own homes. Let us never forget this loss of life and innocence.

Let us never forget Uzma, another child we failed to save.

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