A BABY’S entry into the world is usually greeted delightfully by parents, broader family members and well-wishers.Their prayers and expectations are that the baby will enjoy good health, acquire a good education, a beneficial profession, and, ultimately, become a resourceful adult.
The resourcefulness would take two broad forms- to support one’s parents and maybe grandparents in the sunset phases of their lives when, economically and health-wise, they may not be in a position to cope satisfactorily on their own.
In quite many cases, the obligation is discharged wholeheartedly by individuals who don’t perceive it as repayment, as this would have commercial connotations, but as a rational social obligation.
The tragedy though, is that, due to a host of social and economic problems, quite many otherwise good-willed individuals can’t play the noble role due to being handicapped by various shortcomings.
Beyond babyhood, entry into the young adulthood phase is coupled with stumbling blocks that compromise their potential resourcefulness. A week has elapsed since the Day of the African Child was commemorated on June 16, but some messages read at various local venues then, remain topical, as they cast that problem in sharp perspective.
Examples drawn from Mwanza and Morogoro regions paint a general picture on the critical subject. In Mwanza, home-based violence, other forms of harassments and deprivations, are blamed for the creation of nearly two million street children.
Caution must be exercised, however, to distinguish between an inhospitable environment in their homes, and the misguided adventurism of some of the children.
These perceive city life to be glamorous, even if it is characterized by begging during daytime and sleeping on the cold pavements of business buildings, quite often on empty stomachs.
In Morogoro’s case, challenges faced by learners in Tomodo Ward in Mkuyuni Division, include some of them dropping out due to fatigue resulting from long distances from homes to primary and secondary schools.
Others are pregnancies amongst some schoolgirls who are lured by people who give them lifts and pocket money, whom they credit for relieving their suffering. This scenario, which is largely replicated elsewhere in the country, is heart-rending and cries out for swift, concerted remedial efforts from all stakeholders.
Babies who start off as innocent little angels should be enabled to become dignified and resourceful adults. We hope that, this time around, the sentiments won’t, proverbially speaking, amount to the voice of someone crying in the wilderness.