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In Another Incident Of Child Abuse, A 6-Year-Old Loses Eye Sight

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Yesterday morning as our housemaid arrived later than usual, she exploded into tears mentioning how her brother-in-law pounded on his son who lost his eye sight amid the beating. The family lives in Harsian village which is about 20 mins drive from Daska, District Sialkot. Apparently, the unfortunate six-year-old baby boy’s head received repeated hammering with bare hands of his father over a trivial issue i.e. turning door knob. The poor soul would lose his eye sight over apparently ‘delayed obedience’.

Incidents of child abuse are not uncommon in Pakistan especially in rural areas and impoverished households. In fact not too long ago, in public schools beating used to be morally-endorsed as a means to discipline resilient hardy boys. So called madams lock, torture and beat up minor maids; even worse, the absurd justifications they give are mind boggling and soul rattling. There is no lack of sadistic uncles either. It has become a normality that those looked upon as helpers of destiny snuggle the poor minors at kitchen corners to sleep, make them hold kids as they eat in a fancy restaurant or make them watch as they eat at homes and then give them food which is rationed mostly; the list goes on but should this nefarious show!? These are stories of those turned into “glorified slaves”, of tears and fears which are deeply prevalent in our society.

What I have across is a story of tear and fear that rattled me to the core because this time it was the parent himself who thundered against his own child. As I probed, I was told he had another child, a baby girl who was not rebuked or reprimanded in any case as she was the star kid. Meanwhile her brother received extensive beating often in a way to get back to his grandfather with whom his father is not on good terms. The tussle is too trifling; the boy was grandfather’s star kid – ” Is ko dada n sar p charhaya hva hai…khrab Kia hva hai.”

Initially, he was kept isolated as the father now feared the consequences of what he had done. As the boy lost his sight, he was rushed to different hospitals in Daska city. All refused to treat and suggested to take him to Lahore. Then he was taken to Pasrur, only to be declined yet again. As the father pleaded before a doctor in civil hospital Daska that he could not afford taking his son to Lahore, the doctor told him to admit his son in a local private hospital he comes to visit twice a week from Lahore. As of the moment, the reports have been sent to Lahore.

What it appears is that so far the damage is already done. We can only pray he gets well and the damage is not too deep and can be healed. Our family, my mother and I, have offered condolences to our maid who loves the baby boy a lot and he too refers her as his mother. She told us that he prayed five times a day despite of being merely five or six years old. He was so well mannered that whenever he walks into a room, he would first of all shake hands with any elder sitting. As our maid said she had boycotted with brother-in-law, we asked her to do otherwise and arrange a familial gathering against his egregious misdemeanor. We have also extended help in medical bills as far as we could and meanwhile cautioned her to prevent the boy from parental neglect as the stakes are too high.

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Naya Daur