An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Where Mothers are forced to give Opium to their Infants

Rajasthani Women Labourers

Yesterday, the world observed International Women’s Day.  Women are facing many issues over the world, specially in countries like India.  The issues that a working woman faces in the urban places is quite a bit, but the issues that the rural or slum mothers face often puts them in situations where they end up making decisions that no one in the right mind would like to make.  But such is the survival pressure that they have little choices in front of them!

In Rajasthan for example, women working in mining and stone crushing units often use opium to keep their kids quiet while they work.  The impact of this is for the entire lifetime of the child!  An entire generation of addicts is being raised there.

“Many women bring their infants to the work site if they have no other childcare arrangement. It is not uncommon for mothers to give their infants opium to keep them quiet while they are working. Thus, addiction starts early and becomes a way of life,” the report said, which was prepared by VAAGDHARA (Voluntary Association of Agriculture General Development, Health and Reconstruction Alliance) and Plan India.

It is pretty easy to judge such acts by a mother, but it is a resultant of ignorance of the impact and little options available to them.

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