New Delhi: A 29-year-old techie quit his job at a multi-national corporation to covered 9000 km on foot to show his protest against children pushed to begging. Ashish Sharma dreams of a ‘child begging-free India’ and has set foot on a 17 thousand kilometre journey to achieve his dream. Also Read - COVID-19: Centre Should've Admitted That There is Community Spread in Delhi, Says Satyendra Jain
The aircraft maintenance cum mechanical engineer from the Indian Institute of Aeronautics has turned into a child rights activist after witnessing children begging for a living. In the nation-wide walk, after Ashish reached Tripura through Mizoram, he reportedly told indianexpress.com, “It is pathetic to see little children begging for a living. They have no idea of parents. I rescued nine such children and rehabilitated them in juvenile homes. Most of them were victims of trafficking and organized begging.” Also Read - Delhi School Reopening News: Schools to Remain Closed For All Students Till October 5, Online Teaching to Continue, Says Kejriwal Govt
The Delhite began his nation-wide walk from Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir and covered 9,139 Km across 21 states including Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, Himachal, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Daman-Diu, Silvasa, Maharashtra, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Sikkim, Assam, Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur and Tripura. The decision to undertake the nationwide walk sprang his mind after Ashish rescued the last child begging to make ends meet. Ashish often finds children begging on the streets of Delhi. The disturbing sight motivated him to undertake the walk to raise awareness on child rights and to stop child begging. Also Read - 33% Delhiites Have Developed Covid-19 Antibodies: Latest Sero Survey of 17,000 Samples
Carrying the Indian flag, a backpack, a mobile phone and some money, Ashish wishes ‘Jai Hind’ to everyone he meets during his journey. Despite facing many hurdles on the way Ashish is on a relentless mission to fight for the rights of the children begging on the streets. When Ashish quit a job that pays Rs 6 lakh per annum, he faced opposition from his family members. The determined Ashish said, “I even got beaten at the beginning. But gradually, they understood my genuine hope for a child begging-free India. Now they support me unequivocally.”
The techie-turned-activist has lost faith in the government as he feels that demanding rights from them have only fallen on deaf ears. He added, “Seventy-two years after Independence, we still have to raise voice against child begging. It says enough. I feel the society has as much responsibility as the government does. It’s time we started taking them up.”
Ashish will end his 17 thousand Km long walk at Rameswaram, the burial place of Late President APJ Abdul Kalam by October 2019.