The Deprived Child

One day I noticed a boy
Must be seven or eight
But the childish glow
Absent from the tanned face
Except for his little number of years
He looked more like a grown-up man by visage
Surely he didn’t know what childhood means
I couldn’t resist coming close to him, and
Knowing the reason for his pitiable desolate condition
His eyes began to overflow with tears
Which he tried to wipe off with his tattered sleeves
Impression of helplessness appeared in his eyes
As if he was abandoned by those near to him
When asked again, sobbing he told
His parents didn’t love him, nor cared for him
Their attention was more for their two other children
In fact, this boy was slightly mentally retarded.
He felt deprived of his rightful parental love
How such discrimination can be justified,
Rather than avoidance and neglect
The physically disabled ones need much
More compassion and attention of the parents
Why should they suffer for no fault of theirs
Humanity should not be so murdered
It should be nurtured to its true nature.
Let us be human beings.
~Dr. Kailash Nath Khandelwal

Gayatri Tapobhumi, Mathura (UP)

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