How a Journalist treated a young girl as her slave and bullied her parents when she lost her slave?

During the Covid times, our domestic help called us up and asked us if you could keep her daughter with us as the slum area in which they were living was not at all safe for her daughter. She said that earlier she would go to work in different houses and would stay busy but now she is staying back at home which is completely unsafe.

Eventually, my mom forgot that conversation but it was after almost twenty days, that she arrived with her daughter to our place. My mother asked her all alone if she was being forced to come to our place. The girl very politely told my mom that she wants to study and if my mother could teach her that would mean the world to her.

We all welcomed her on board and always consider her as our family member. She hops from one place to another. Helps mom in household chores and studies the rest of the day.

To my amazement, she told me that she was studying in the ninth standard but it turned out that she knew nothing. Solving a basic 3 + 4 math addition problem was the world’s biggest problem for her.

We as a family decided that we need to tell her the truth. I told her that she needs to study from the beginning. We would create a system wherein she would start studying the books of class 1 at home and then she would have to pass the examinations at home itself. You complete the books for all subjects for one class, give the exams, pass them and then there will be books for the next class.

She told me that, I want to be a police officer. That twinkle in her eye and smile took my heart away. She started studying by giving it all to whatever we would teach her.

Everything was going fine when one fine day, her mother said that she is getting calls from one of the journalists from the Hindustan Times who would often visit the girl’s home. We thought she was a well-wisher and she had got the girl’s admission done in a government school. It also turned out that her mother thought that this journalist would teach the girl in the evening.

I was happy to hear that there was someone in the society who was working for the downtrodden. But, it was hard to digest that the girl was taught by someone because she knew nothing. In every subject, she was zero. It was as if she had never been to a School.

Well, the mother of this girl asked my mom to take the mobile number of this journalist and let the girl talk to her. My mom called her up and she started bullying my mom that she is a journalist and she will bring police to our place. She said that she wanted to meet the girl and wanted to give her a phone. The mother of this young girl told her that giving phone to a teenager is not at all safe.

I took the phone from mom and asked her to tell me what’s the issue. She was shouting. I said girl, please talk politely. Well, she didn’t and instead started levying baseless allegations including sexual allegations.

The end of the story being the journalist talked to the girl and she said that she has come to our place with her own sweet will and she was happy to be here.

The way the journalist cross-examined the young girl, my advocate mind had started running errands. This woman had given me a deadly headache already but I needed to know the truth.

By afternoon, I had taken out everything. I asked the girl if she knew that the journalist had put all her pictures and the place where she was living on her workplace website I.e Hindustan Times website. The young girl was sad for she was extremely unhappy with the way the journalist behaved with her parents.

She didn’t say anything for a day but the very next day. Somewhere at 10 at night, the lights went off and she came from her room which is next to mine. She sat next to me and we started talking about everything that had happened the other day.

She told me how hurt she was to see the photographs of her home being published online without her permission. She also told me that how the journalist would misuse her time. She said that she would do the entire household chores for this journalist without being paid a penny. Though her parents would think that she is going for Tuitions but instead she would make her work the entire evening. Then she told how she made a vague promise of getting her admitted to the school but would run away every time she would inquire about the admission. It was after good three to four months that the girl forced this journalist to get her admitted to a government school. The girl thought that because the journalist has got her admitted in a government school she is like an elder sister and the young girl would do everything that the journalist would say.

But, The question is if you are poor and downtrodden don’t you have the right to privacy? Isn’t it a part of Article 21 i.e. Right to life and Personal Liberty under our very own Indian Constitution.

If I would not have been an Advocate, my family would have actually been in fear and would have forced the girl to leave our place. I on the other hand knew the law and very well knew that there was nothing wrong. There are Journalists who are demanding protection for themselves. Don’t you think the general public needs to be protected from such journalists and newspaper agencies like that of Hindustan Times who do not keep a check on them?

But, The question is if you are poor and downtrodden don’t you have the right to privacy? Isn’t it a part of Article 21 i.e. Right to life and Personal Liberty under our very own Indian Constitution

And isn’t it slavery or begar to make anyone work without paying remuneration or wages under Article 23 of the Indian constitution which is a violation of Fundamental Rights

The links of all such articles published by this Journalist are here:

1. https://www.hindustantimes.com/chandigarh/online-learning-digital-divide-hurting-economically-disadvantaged-students/story-Mdssf7S7t0azD7Ui843LVJ.html

2. https://www.hindustantimes.com/chandigarh/coronavirus-in-chandigarh-distancing-a-distant-dream-in-crowded-colonies/story-wm6nZz32xUFujq8tWOXYRI.html

3. https://www.hindustantimes.com/more-lifestyle/children-s-day-special-chandigarh/story-U0DPaonWC5IkuOkuK2ulAP.html