Those small services

9:10 PM

I haven't written much in there recently. That was mostly due to my stepmom reducing me to the condition of an emotional wreck this week end. Anyway, I'm back and will share a small experience that occured to me yesterday.

The heat was on and my asthma was not fully undercontrol. Just a little cough, no biggie. But I absolutely had to go to the supermarket which is about 1 km away from my home. I waited until the end of the afternoon to limit the heat factor and went there without any problems. In the supermarket, it turned out I had to buy more stuff than I thought I would need and at the cash counter I had 3 huge bags full. As it was Sunday, there were some kids working there putting stuff in bags instead of the usual grown ups. They  usually also carry the stuff for you without even asking you if it is ok or not. 
And so, it happened that a boy about 10 years of age grabbed my bags and carried them all the way back to my house. All I had to do was leading the way. I was really grateful for this that day. Because even now, I'm not sure I would have been in a good shape carrying those heavy bags in that heat and dust, with my asthma acting up.
This boy is probably paid by the supermarket to put stuff in bags and help customers, during the week the same tast is done by adults but they dont usually carry your bags that far. What this boy was clearly seeking by doing so was a tip. And serioulsy, I prefer having a boy taking the initiative to carry my bags in exchange of a few rupees than a kid begging in the street and grabbing my purse if I show no sign of giving a few coins.

India seem to be the land of the small paid services. Lot's of people actually do small work to earn money instead of begging, when it comes to children, it's a bit delicate though. I am not the one to encourrage child labour, especially not if it comes at the dtriment of education. But since my supermarket seem to have junior help only on weekends, it probably mean these kids go to school the rest of the time. And they dont seem to work late on Sunday night either. I went there a couple of time in the evening, and there was no kids around. I wish I could say every shop or restaurant follow such a rule, but some restaurants kids work nearly 12 hours a day for peanuts, there is still lot to do for children rights here.


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