Monu’s Selfie Trouble

One day Monu monkey found a mobile phone in the forest. Monu was excited to find the phone and jumped across to give the news to his friends. But first, he thought of taking a selfie or his own picture with his new mobile.

He switched on the camera, scrunched up his nose and face and took a selfie. He then showed the selfie to his friends and offered to take a selfie with them too.

All his friends praised his picture. Monu was filled with joy to hear this. He thought that he had found a priceless gift. Now, all his friends would do his work, as he would offer to take their pictures.

Now, Monu did dangerous things like walking on one hand and swinging from a tree while taking selfies. The more his friends praised his pictures, the more Monu wandered around the forest to find new spots to take selfies. He had become addicted to his friends praising him and his pictures.

But Monu’s mother knew that Monu was wasting a lot of his time in taking pictures and was not finishing his studies or helping her with housework.

One day when Monu returned from the forest, mother said, “Monu, you’re just busy going to dangerous places in the forest to take selfies. I am really worried about this. You need to pay attention to your studies. If something untoward takes place, what will happen? You need to think about what you’re doing.”

“Ma, you worry unnecessarily. I am not a kid anymore. I can easily differentiate between right and wrong. You be assured, I can take care of myself,” replied Monu and turned a deaf ear to what ma had said.

Monu became crazy for taking selfies in dangerous places and the praises his friends showered on him, added fuel to this fire. 

He had become so bold that he would not think twice to take a selfie near a lion, even. It was common for him to climb on the backs of elephants or giraffes and take selfies.

He was so addicted to taking selfies that he thought himself to be the selfie professional of the whole forest. 

Not only did he take selfies better than any other animal, he demanded appreciation from friends all the time. Most of his friends were now fed up with his habit.

One day Monu thought of taking a selfie from the branch of the tallest tree of the forest. One could view the beauty of the whole forest from there. 

He climbed the top most branch of that tree to take a unique selfie. He held the mobile in one of his forelegs, the branch with the other and posed for a selfie, hanging in the air. He was having fun clicking selfies in various poses. But the branch couldn’t bear his weight.

It broke from the tree with a loud crack. Monu fell hitting the branches of the tree, on the ground with a thud and lost his senses with a loud cry.

On hearing his cry, some animals near the tree came running there. Seeing him lying unconscious, they took him to Dr. Gajju elephant immediately. 

Dr. Gajju examined him and said that he was seriously injured and had fractured his legs. Monu needed to rest for two months.

Monu’s mother, too reached Dr. Gajju’s clinic. She was crying because Monu was hurt and unconscious.

Monu became conscious and realized that his mother was crying. He cried in pain and said, “Ma, please forgive me. I will listen to you and promise not to take selfies all the time. I will not touch the mobile again.”

Monu’s mother hugged him and said, “My child, the mobile has nothing to do with this. You had started to misuse the mobile by putting your life in danger, by taking selfies in dangerous places. That’s why you met with an accident. You escaped with minor wounds and your life is out of danger; this is a great lesson for you.”

Monu learnt a lesson from his mother and decided to leave the addiction of taking selfies. But all his friends gathered there and took one last selfie with Monu lying on the bed, with plaster on his leg, to remind him to be careful!

Greeting Card

Champakvan had an orphanage devoted to the care of orphans. It was home to a lot of children. The boarding, lodging and studies of these children was completely undertaken by King Shersingh.

Shanno cat was employed as the caretaker of the orphanage.

King Shersingh visited the orphanage once a month.

One Sunday, when Shersingh reached the orphanage, Shanno was waiting for him at the gates to welcome him.

“Shanno, I hope the kids are well taken care of?” asked Shersingh.

“Yes, my King! I take care of them like my own kids. I am at their service throughout the day. I am always concerned about them,” replied Shanno.

“My King, I request you to come and see for yourself how well these kids are taken care of,” she continued taking Shersingh to the kitchen.

Lunch was being prepared in the kitchen. There was chapati, rice, dal, vegetables and rice pudding on the menu.

“This food smells good here!’ said Shersingh, taking in the aromas of the food.

“Yes, my king! We serve tasty and nutritious food to the kids every day. They are also served milk, nuts and fruits in the morning,” Shanno added.

“That is excellent! I wish that these kids never face any inconvenience while they are here. Let me know if you need any help,” offered Shersingh.

Then, Shersingh visited the kids in their rooms. Cheeku rabbit, Meeku mouse, Jumpy monkey and the other kids greeted the King.

“Children, are you all comfortable here?” asked Shersingh.

“Yes!” said the kids and nodded.

“My King, like I said, the kids here do not have any problems. We care for them like our own kids. Each and every need of theirs is taken care of,” Shanno added quickly.

As soon as Shersingh got up to leave, Cheeku interrupted and said, “My king, we have made a greeting card for you and we would like to present it to you.”

Shersingh happily accepted their request and said, “Yes, of course! Bring it quickly. I want to see what my lovely children have made for me.”

Meeku brought the card and presented it to Shersingh.

Shersingh opened the greeting card and smiled and said, “It is a very beautiful card. I have never been presented with anything like this before. I will always treasure it.”

“Shanno, you are working really hard to help these kids. You deserve a reward for your efforts. I will return soon,” said Shersingh as he left.

That night Shersingh visited the orphanage with Inspector Tommy Dog and his team.

Shanno was surprised to see Shersingh with the police. She came out quickly and asked, “What is it Inspector? Is there a thief here?” 

“Yes, we are here to catch a criminal. A crime has been happening for many days and now we have the proof for it,” said Inspector Tommy and hand-cuffed Shanno.

“Why are you taking me in, Inspector? What crime have I committed? I look after the kids in the orphanage. I am not a thief,” cried Shanno.

“You should be ashamed of yourself! I trusted you and you took advantage of my trust. Now you will spend the rest of your life in prison,” roared Shersingh, his eyes red with anger.

“My King, there is some misunderstanding. I have not done anything. Please leave me!” pleaded Shanno.

“There is no misunderstanding. The children of the orphanage gifted me the card and it mentioned all the details of your wrong doings. You have been torturing these little children by hitting them and threatening them. How you fed them stale food that too, just once a day. 

All the food that was being prepared was just to fool me. You have been keeping all the money that was sent for the welfare of the kids, for yourself. Your misdeeds have finally come to light now,” Shersingh growled.

Seeing his rage, Shanno admitted to her crimes. Shersingh demanded a tough punishment for Shanno.

Then Shersingh praised Cheeku, Meeku and Jumpy for their presence of mind and said, “We were able to uncover Shanno’s wrongdoings due to your intelligent thinking. I assure you, that you will never face such a problem again. You will all be looked after well!”

Shanno was sent to prison and the children lived happily with another caretaker.

Anti-Child Labour Day

Myra was sitting deep in thought that afternoon when her elder sister, Mandira, who was studying law came into their room. Seeing her sister sitting quietly, Mandira asked, “What’s the matter, Myra? What are you thinking about?”

“In school today, we were given a topic, ‘Anti-child labour Day’. We have to collect and share information about this day. We also have to paste some pictures. Didi, you are studying law. Do you know about ‘Anti-child labour Day’?” asked Myra.

“Yes, sure! But let’s eat our food first, and then we’ll talk,” replied Mandira. 

After lunch, Myra cleaned up and went with her sister to sit on the lawn in front of their house. Her sister pulled up two chairs at the table. Mandira had carried fruits and milk as an afternoon snack for them. 

“The International Labour Organization-is an international body formed to study and talk about labour. It started the ‘Anti-child labour Day’ in the year 2002. Many people take work from small children under 14 years. This is called ‘child labour’. Children are kept as servants in homes. Some children are employed in shops, hotels and garages. Children clean and wash cars. Some children are employed in hazardous jobs like mining; though this has become much less these days. In the olden days this was more common,” said Mandira.

“But why do people take work from small children?” asked Myra. “There may be some compulsions for these children, like they may be poor and may require money. Also, people pay less to small children and hence, don’t mind employing them,” replied her sister.

“But didi, then how do these children go to school? And what about their life, like play and games. What about those activities?” asked Myra.

“This is the objective of ‘Anti-Child Labour Day’, so that we recognize rights of children. Every child has the right to go to school, to play and enjoy life. We cannot deny them these rights by employing them for work. Childhood has a great impact on a person’s personality. The people who employ them often do not treat them well. For their small mistakes, they shout at them. Very often, they beat them. That is why Anti-child labour day is celebrated,” explained Mandira.

“Didi, after hearing you, I just remembered one thing. Near our school there is a hotel. I have seen a small boy working there,” remembered Myra.

“Really? Tomorrow I will come to pick you after school. Then we will go to the hotel and meet the boy. In the meantime, you can use the information I shared with you and prepare your report. I will help you download pictures from the internet or take them from magazines,” said her sister.

Next afternoon after school, Mandira and Myra went to the hotel. They saw the boy cleaning tables and serving food to the customers.

Mandira asked the hotel owner, “Who is that boy?” The hotel owner replied, “He is Ram, my elder brother’s son. My brother who lived in the village passed away last year. His mother also lives in the village. His education cost had increased and she was unable to meet the expenses. So I brought him here. He goes to school in the morning and helps me with my work in the afternoons. In the morning my wife stays here to help me. But she has the house to look after. So, Ram helps me take good care of the hotel.”

Mandira said, “You brought Ram to study here. That is very good. But along with the studies you are taking work from him and this is wrong. Do you pay him? Does his mother know all this? It is a crime to take work from him. From tomorrow you must stop asking him to work for you.”

Then the hotel owner said, “How does this matter to you? He is my own nephew. His mother will not say anything.”

“You are snatching his childhood from him. He needs rest after coming from school. Besides, he needs to complete his homework and studies. And for him play and games are also necessary. His childhood will not come back,” insisted Mandira.

The hotel owner then said, “Alright, didi. From tomorrow I will not take work from him.” They saw a smile on Ram’s face.

While going away Myra told her sister, “At least, Ram benefited from my project.” “Yes!” said Mandira and they returned home happily.