My Encounter With Toklip

Here I want to share a story about the boy in the picture. The boy name is Toklip and he is from Adi tribe from Tuting Arunachal Pradesh. He is a student of class VIII so you all can imagine how old he might be. He told me he is 15 years old. Now as the picture depicts he is a porter which is prevalent in the borders to carry load of at least 20kg. He told me during vacation he works as porter to support himself and his family. Since it was vacation time he is taking up his kang for a month this time to carry load and earn. I was moved by this boy and recollected that when we were in class VIII all we think is to have fun. I felt so small in front of this boy. I had a good time listening to his humor and his story as I was with him for almost a month for a specific task. At the end he earned Rs 11,000 and thanked me for taking him as a porter.

I had initially refused to take him since he was a student and moreover didn’t want to get entangle over the issue of child labour. However after he told me his reason for engaging himself as a porter he persuaded me finally. I know all of you may not agree that I employed a class VIII student who had to carry a load of almost 30kg for a month and cover a distance of 400km on foot that also in a very tough terrain where there is no track and other hazards. But since I was with him throughout the time I felt happy for him that he earned for himself and his family. I just want to share his story so that we all can learn and appreciate that to work for a living we have to make compromises and sacrifices.

*Submitted by Yangertoshi from Nagaland who serves as an Asst. Cmndnt in ITBPF (Indo Tibetan Border Police Force)