He is just five years old, and adopted. It seems bizarre, but he was subjected to a horrific torture by his new mother. He was scrubbed regularly with a black stone in a bid to make him fairer. As a result, he didn’t become fairer. But he got scars and injuries on his body.
Lucky for him, his cousin complained to Child Services. Thankfully, the boy was rescued by a Child Line team and the Nishatpura police (Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh).
Child abuse and child violence is common in India, with India being the third largest contributor to child homicide after Nigeria and Brazil (WHO 2014, Global Health Estimates). There are hundreds of articles on the net about this, and this particular case of a child being tortured because he is dark, is a part of a deep malaise in our society – the desire to become fair.
Here is a case of a girl being killed because she was dark. Just 22 years old, and a new bride. And another case, of a woman who killed herself (Kolkata), because she couldn’t bear her dark skin. Dowry demands have been upped because a bride was too dark, but in the case referred to, she was killed by the in-laws.
Then there was this woman who killed her husband in Vadodara, because he was dark.
But now it appears even children have become victims. Or they always were, but it was never mentioned, because no one ever died. Who hasn’t heard of parents discriminating between two sisters, one who was fair, and the other dark? This prejudice starts in childhood and can scar a child mentally.