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  • Writer's pictureCarlos Luis

Children Are a Gift: A Message From 'Extraction'

Extraction is a movie based on 2014 comic book ‘Ciudad’ by Ande Parks, Russo brothers, Fernando Leon Gonzalez, and Eric Skillman. Sam Hargrave an American stuntman and director directs the movie giving us chilling experience through the action sequence. Extraction exposes the fight between the two drug lords; one in India i.e. Ovi Mahajan Sr. (Pankaj Tripathi) and the other in Dhaka, Bangladesh i.e. Amir Asif (Priyanshu Painyuli). When Ovi Mahajan Sr. is imprisoned Amir Asif finds the opportune time to kidnap his son Ovi Mahajan (Rudhraksh Jaiswal). The movie thus is centred around the extraction of Ovi Mahajan.

The process of extraction is carried out by two teams; the team of the gangster led by Saju Rav (Randeep Hooda) and the team consisting of Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) and Nik khan (Golshifteh Farahani). What makes the two teams different and yet related is what one will understand as the events in the movie unfold.

My main concern here is for the child who is kidnapped, Ovi Mahajan. Rudhraksh as Ovi justifies the character with his perfect display of emotions as yearning for love and respect, as someone who wants to be cared for, as someone scared and at risk. He is the quintessence of the celebrity child. He becomes important because he is the son of a gangster. What get us thinking are his words “I am like a package then in brown paper.” This realization comes from deep introspection. He finds himself defencelessness feeling like a thing than a person, sometimes even as a walking corpse. But Tyler Rake becomes his hope.

Having a look at real-life don’t we find the celebrity or gangster child at odds? Without at fault, they have to go through the paparazzi that follow them everywhere an intrusion in their privacy. At times they have to mask themselves to fit into the boxes of the audience that expects them to be a certain way. Evidently, we ought to become aware of the rights of children whether a celeb or not. Every child is irrespective of where and to whom she or he is born needs to be respected and given the deserving privacy.

In the Holy Bible, we have heard of the innocent children being killed. It was a failed process to execute Jesus as He escapes these murderous hands. Jesus thus is seen celebrating the children. He calls the children to himself and encourages the disciples to be humble like them. Advising all of us to learn from children and contribute to the life of the loving community at large.

United Nations Children’s Fund singles out children’s rights and makes the importance of these rights known to us. Children though are people-in-the-making have their rights. They must be considered persons and not as things like Ovi. Ovi felt that his father had money and hence provided him everything except for the love that he truly needed. Why are children left on the streets or elsewhere for no one to take care of them? Why do children get addicted to drugs? Or become alcoholics? Because somewhere down the line they have felt the rejection from parents, friends, relatives, etc. They have felt that they were treated not as persons but things. Children are individuals who have a heart and soul that needs to be nurtured.

Children are dependent on parents and guardians to take care of them and to provide for their needs. If one is not able to do so, the state government must intervene and become the shelter for a child. Because ultimately when a child becomes an adult she or he will contribute to the state immensely. She or he, in turn, could be a blessing to other children who need someone to nurture them. The government at times fails to cater to the needs of the homeless children affecting them badly. They hardly become the discussion points in the state. India boasts of more than 50% of its population being below the age of 25 and more than 65% of its population being below the age of 35 as of 2020. But if there are more than 12% of children who are uncared for, who are forced to become child labourers, and left on the streets to become social deviants we have lost the battle already.

Children and the turmoil they undergo are never given a listening ear. Since they do not take part in the political processes in the state, they become the victims of power. Someone from above always dictates a term. And the children have to humbly accept and become a slave to it. At this point then, what we need is a healthy development of children.

Leave the children of the celebrities to themselves. Let them have a normal life. If you are a parent always give a listening ear to your child, if a child doesn’t listen to you, take help of someone, for instance, a counsellor. If you are a child and feel lost get in touch with the non-governmental agencies that are ready and willing to help. “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him” (Psalm 127:3). Children are a gift to be treasured, handled with the utmost sensitivity, and immense love. Children would expect their formative years to be the best providing experiences they can treasure for lifelong. Let us give them positive experiences that will make them optimistic people for an optimistic future.

First Published on THE GOAN EVERYDAY newspaper

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