It is ironic how media leaves no chance to ridicule politicians and dent the image of Pakistan yet it pays no heed to one of the most crucial issues of our society! Every day young boys get raped but everyone seems okay with it. If a girl gets raped, it’s all over the news (which should be just to identify and catch the criminals), but no one talks about how young boys are getting raped. Imagine the sort of mindset we are promoting!
What people fail to realize is that Islam is not something that should be taught at a shallow level that pray 5 times, don’t lie and don’t look at women. It is something that needs to be instilled at the core level – abusing little kids and using them to satisfy your physical needs IS a haram and IS a sin. But do we ever hear anyone tell their kids that?
According to a survey 1/3 participants of a study of 1800 men said they didn’t believe child abuse to be a crime or a sin.
When a bus driver was interviewed, he admitted to have raped around 11 – 12 young boys between the ages of 8 and 11. When asked if he knew God was against this act, he said “Yes but kya kerain? Majboori hai”
Moreover, the tragedy is that it is not an isolated incident or a story of just 1 or 2 kids; it’s actually more wide spread than people like to believe. As put by Mr. Zia Awan (Advocate at The Supreme Court Of Pakistan), “People don’t believe us. They think we are exaggerating. We are NOT exaggerating. Denial. Hundreds of Kids everyday are being raped, sold and trafficked.”
The sort of mentality that is widespread in our region, makes it impossible to break this vicious cycle.
Ghulam Qadri – Deputy Country Director for the charity Save The Children says, “much of the problem stems from the past history of the abusers themselves.”
This is true. The abused bathes himself in self-loathing, guilt and feelings of revulsion that push him towards people that prey on the carcass of his innocence, induce drug habits so that he is constantly bound to earn in one way or another in order to satisfy those drug urges. Their incentive in the temporary escape from reality and pain. Such is the inhumanity.
When asked if they are aware of how their kids will indulge in similar actions when a little older, they admit knowing by saying, “jaisi kerni waisi bharni.”
It’s scary to think how nothing is impacting them. If there was a fear of God, would their actions still be the same?
Statistics show that in a survey, 95% truck drivers admitted having sex with young boys was their main entertainment, 9 out of every 10 street kids have been abused and that 30% of the 1 million heroin addicts are HIV positive.
Unfortunately, even our own Mr. Imran Khan was surprised at these figures. He remarked, “It’s one of the most sad and shameful aspects of our society. I have to say I’m totally embarrassed by this; that we have not really been able to protect them.”
It breaks my heart to further probe into the matter. The kids sell themselves for as less as Rs.50 – 100 or even Rs.1000 for the full night. They are unaware of the deadly diseases they can contract but most of all, they choose to use this as a profession only once after they have been subjected to abuse against their will at ages at little as 8 years.
Naeem is one such victim that has received help from Afzal Shah, a real life hero that runs a day care sort of facility in Peshawar that feeds street kids like Naeem that have no where to go and encourages them to stay away from drugs. He is affiliated with a center in Karachi that provides rehabilitation to such kids.
People like him are few. That realize the intensity of how widespread this problem is and how it creates adverse effects on the society at large.
Kids like Naeem eventually resort to self harm and inevitably vent their frustration by abusing those less powerful than them. That is the sad fate of the boys in Peshawar.
What if this was your son? What if this was your brother? Would you still blame him for it? Would you let him feel suicidal and guilty for something that wasn’t his choice to begin with?
The point of this article is not to invoke hatred or sympathy for anyone. There are many people out there who will do that for you. The point of this is to wake up the media and get them to spread awareness to people like you and me. These things happen. Not just to kids, not just to adults; not just to girls but also to boys. Be careful. Be alert. Speak up against the taboo. Don’t blame them. Support them. As for the victims, it is our job to inform them of centers that are willing to help them. They are not helpless. We are with them.
As for kids like Naeem, one day he plans to get out of this filth and wants to help other street kids, much like himself, because he has had a first hand experience as to what it’s like.
This is proof that no one is born a sinner. The circumstances cause people to react in ways that are inappropriate. The abused becomes the abuser and the cycle never stops.