Sunday, December 5, 2010

Help stop child abuse but not by acting like one

This is a humor blog where I post to make people's lives just a little easier by showing them a lighter side of things. There comes a time when people don't need to lighten up, instead they need to realize certain follies of their ways. There is a campaign active on Facebook, it requires you to put up cartoons for your display pictures and this (just as the useless ribbon days) will somehow prevent child Abuse.

Today I come to you not with jokes but with a plea. This whole campaign to put up cartoons as display pictures on Facebook is the online version of the nuclear debate, only that it's retarded to an extent that everyone (or everyone I know at least) questions the reasoning that led to this movement. On the one hand we have people who say this will raise awareness which is better than nothing and on the other (myself included) we have people who say this is a useless gesture which does nothing but promote the false satisfaction of contributing without actually doing so.

In Pakistan child abuse isn't just household abuse or children who are victims of war, those aren't even considered issues around here, people who have spent time here, specifically our rejected exports (people who leave the country "for good" but have to come back eventually) will notice the worst form of abused child...the kind begging on the street. 

These are victims of such circumstances that they walk up to every car, every motorcycle bare feet in scorching heat or freezing cold just so they can stretch their arms out to you and hope not for what you think is your precious money but they just want their lives back and their well being assured. What kid can you imagine would go around saying "Allah tujhe Hajj karaye" (May Allah send you to Hajj) In exchange for the loose change people would only part with if it were weighing down their pants? They do so because they have no other choice. They are only children.

Some of them play around while they wait for traffic to cycle along while some of them sit in fear for what the last person did to them for asking more than once. They will ask for food if we're holding any and we'll just shrug it off, thinking they don't deserve anything from our worthy pockets. We are a flawed people and all our gestures however grand in our eyes will mean nothing if we don't look past our own petty lives and see that the world isn't as simple as your social networking website making a statement for you.

These are children who were either kidnapped or were orphans. If you have ever stopped at a traffic light in Pakistan you will see how these kids would want nothing more than release. Perhaps some even retain memories of the lives they had before taking such a turn. I personally fear to even imagine, but I don't have to. 

I've met with families who lost their children to such incidents, their dull expressionless faces still haunt me, wishing their child had died instead and they would not have to imagine what horrors they might be facing. Nobody knows for sure, but we all fear the worst and only the unfortunate few have to live it.

The most common reason to not spend that extra money is lethargy  "What happens if someone undeserving gets my money? What if it's just a scam? I'll just update my picture, because I KNOW what that is doing is raising awareness and awareness is not a scam." There is a saying in Islam (the Hadith is as follows - not a literal translation) Give in the name of Allah regardless of weather someone deserves it or not and Allah will reward you regardless of weather you deserve it or not. But that isn't enough for some.

If you really want to help, donate to someone who you think deserves it. It takes less time googling a worthy recipient than it does finding new ways to keep you ahead in farmville (or mafia wars or World of Warcraft or whatever), if you are interested in actually helping. 

Following are the charities (I know of) that will make sure it goes to someone who deserves it, then you will have earned the right to feel good about changing display pictures. I personally suggest you find a reliable friend in whichever country you wish to help and then go about things through them.

These are the just the ones I know, this being a blog, I can add any sites that my public shares with me. Those who know me and wish to donate to local orphanages, I can personally arrange for that too. This is a far better way to help a child than to change your display picture to a cartoon and pawn it off on to someone who takes picture to heart. This one is far better (image courtesy SOS Village website).


  1. Truer words were never spoken Adi. I truly agree that as much as social media campaigns work, this one makes a bit of a travesty of the situation.

    And thank you so much for the SAYA plug!

  2. SAYA is doing such stellar work. Anyone who doesn't mention it when talking about helping children would be a fool. If people have the means to keep children off the street, they should promote it even further.


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