Sir, I am told you tell everyone “acche din aane waale hain”. I want to see them too.
Dear Shri Narendra Modiji,
My name is Jitender. I am seven years old. I come from Bihar. Please don’t ask me which part of Bihar because I do not know.
I have been in Hyderabad for the last two years. I was “sold” by my parents for Rs 1,000. Perhaps that is the curse of being the eldest-born. My younger brother and two sisters live at home. Or so I think. I have not heard from my family since I came here. I miss them.
I work in the bangle making unit here. This place is near the Charminar in Hyderabad’s Old city area. Many boys share a small, cramped room. Someone says there are 20 to 25 of us in this room. I do not know. I never went to school. I cannot count.
I get up at 6am and immediately start working on the bangles. Yes, my sleeping place is also my workplace. I work from 6am and go on till one in the night. I am told that makes it 19 hours of work. I do not know. I cannot count. I never went to school.
I eat when food is given and continue working. When I feel tired, I doze off. The master comes to know when I am sleeping and comes and beats me. Initially, I thought how he found out when I am not working. Then I found out that there is a camera (CCTV) that lets him know whether I am working or sleeping. Now I try not to sleep because he slaps very hard. It hurts and I cry.
Sir, I miss my mother. I miss hiding my face in the pallu of her sari. I miss playing with her. I miss playing with my brother and sisters.
My friends tease me saying I never smile. What is a smile?
My best friend is Deepak. He tells me he is my cousin. He must be because he puts his arm around me when I weep. Both of us were rescued by the police in May last year but instead of being sent home, one uncle sent us back to the bangle making unit. I still could not see my mother. I miss her and that makes me cry.
Last week, we were again rescued by the police. I was tense because when they raided the unit, my work was not finished. I continued working because I was scared that my master will beat me if I do not finish my work and instead go away with the police.
Deepak and I and many other boys are now at the Children’s Welfare Home in Saidabad in Hyderabad. Every day, many men and women come to see the boys. One day, one woman pointed to one boy and said he is my son. But that boy said she is not my mother. I do not know what is happening.
Will my mother come too? I hope she does. I miss her. I want to go to school. I know I earn Rs 1,000 every month but I want to learn to count the money too.
Sir, I am told you tell everyone acche din aane waale hain. Will you send my mother to Hyderabad and take me back home? I also want to see acche din.