Abduction and auction of the innocents
Daily Mirror Editorial
Nov 10, 2011

In a country where the child has become a market item, it leaves a minimal space for any adult to rejoice over the success of making the world a better place for children.

Undisputedly, money has become the ultimate goal of every adult, who is often compelled to commit the most abominable if not the most sinful acts to obtain his or her daily earnings. Yet, the two most recent incidents where a mother and a father resort to abduct their own child, demanding a massive ransom and another parent puts a price tag on a hapless infant's hand, go to show the bottom of degradation we have reached as a society.

Despite the massive outcry building against the illtreatment of children and the heavy emphasis laid on their protection by the State, non-governmental organizations and the activists, the alarming trend of abandoning, abducting and auctioning the innocents does not seem to meet an immediate end. Be it the acute poverty or simply the lack of knowledge of family planning, a parent going to the extent of selling an innocent child for his or her personal convenience, at no rate, can be pardonable. Whatever their intentions may be, the welfare of the child or his future well-being cannot be among them.

No doubt, what is being reported in the media and discussed in the forums is an iota of the real picture. The stories that do not come to light are those about the children living down the coastal belt who have sexual slavery imposed on them by their parents. Like in any tragedy, their cries are muffled; their tears dry without drawing the degree of sympathy they deserve. Even though, the conspicuous culprit seems to be poverty, in looking deep, one would realize that the major part of the guilt can be credited to the accounts of the parents who even with their abject poverty could have still chosen the child instead of money.

Those who vehemently criticize the satanic surgeries performed by the abortionists try to justify the mothers who resort to abandon their new born babies on the roadsides. Yet, bringing a child into this world and abandoning him is as grave as abortion.

Every child who sees the light of the day is an individual who is entitled to all the rights and privileges enjoyed by the human beings; in fact he or she is entitled to a few special privileges that are granted and universalized by the world bodies such as United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Protection is one such factor that is both legally ascribed and preached by all the major religions. Yet, the errant parents do not seem to be bound by any such social or legal conventions nor do they seem to regret such deplorable acts.

For society, it will be a hard task to make such parents realize that children are not born to fulfil their financial desires nor will it be easy to make them understand the seriousness of destroying a child's future.

What is sad perhaps is that no law can force a heartless parent to love his or her child.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka