Indian children burn toy guns in protest
A large group of women and children in eastern Indian state of Assam have protested against the violence and gun culture in their area. The children, all younger than 13, held their protest today carrying placards reading "We hate toy guns, We love football" as they marched to the local high school playground to light the bonfire.
The womenfolk have taken up the campaign so as to save the children imitating combat fighters while playing with the guns as it may colour their minds and inspire them to engage in criminal activities. With toy guns, children practice mock fight with each other while playing imitating the militants and army which is not a good sign, the womenfolk observed while talking to some journalists who met them.
Around 200 toy-guns collected by the womenfolk were piled up at the public ground at Keinou village in Bishenpur district at around 1pm and were set on fire. The toy guns were collected from the children and shop located in the village by the womenfolk, they informed.
Toy guns are no more a toy for plying by the children, most of them highly resemble the real guns and children used to trigger these toy guns with small iron balls as bullets causing hurt to them, they said.
Not only this, parents faced a big problem in affording these toy guns for their children as toy guns are sold at Rs. 100 as minimum price and many costly toy guns are demanded by the children from their parents.
In every locality children enjoy playing with toy guns, a change that seems to have been brought by the prevailing social conditions in the state.
With the changing times, the manner of children's game is also going through a transformation. Children instead of enjoying playing indigenous games wanted to buy toy guns and stage mock gunfight dramas with their toy guns.
"What a marked change," said a woman who participated in the campaign. How this can bring peace when these little boys avoid playing joyously indigenous games or any other and choose to play with guns, she added.
Hundreds of children from a village in India's insurgency-wracked northeast have burned their toy guns in a symbolic protest against the violence that surrounds them, activists said Thursday.
The children, all younger than 13, held their protest Wednesday, carrying placards reading "We hate toy guns, We love football" as they marched to the local high school playground to light the bonfire.
"The children happily threw their toy guns, mostly look-alikes of AK-47 and M-16 rifles and 9mm pistols, and clapped as they went up in flames," said Amarjit Yumnam, one of the local peace activists who organized the event in Keinou, a village in Manipur state.
Keinou is some 25 miles south of state capital of Imphal.
Villagers said the protest was a reaction to the violence in Manipur, where at least 17 rebel groups have been fighting for independent homelands or autonomy. More than 5,000 people have been killed in the fighting in the past 10 years.