Nowadays, it’s not hard to pop up on the internet and be shoved to fame or oblivion overnight. Social media can sometimes be harsh; some would say even cruel. Kamlesh became another internet sensation, just like so many others. However, unlike the ‘Chai wala,’ his story was sad.

The boy appeared on a snippet from the documentary ‘Nashebaaz’ by the name ‘The Dying People of Delhi’. It was made by the documentary filmmaker, Dheeraj Sharma. The clip is doing rounds on different social media platforms and is a source of entertainment, instead of awareness.

kamlesh drug addiction
via Nashebaaz

Kamlesh’s Story

The video shows a short interview with the boy, where he is fearlessly discussing his drug addiction with the cameraman. Kamlesh discusses his life in the city with the man and tells him what happened after he ran abroad and has found himself dependent on ‘solution’, that is, inhalants like whitener.

It’s incredibly saddening to see such a small boy name so many different drug addictions. Following the video, most of the people on social media thought that Kamlesh’s interview was funny rather than heart-wrenching. It was taken as a source of making entertainment-memes. A lot of crude memes managed to get to my tweets timeline too, making me cringe as soon as I logged in.

I don’t know who can or will laugh on this:

Kamlesh
via inuth

 

kamlesh
via pbs.twimg

Sadly, however, there wasn’t much I possibly could do apart from ignoring and keep scrolling or leave some part of my views in comments, adding to my list of online debates.

The director, Dheeraj Sharma, spoke in an interview by YouTuber Divyanshu Damani about how precisely he’s disappointed that his documentary and Kamlesh’s account, meant to distribute awareness about medicine dependency has turned into a laughing-stock.

The Problem is Rising

It’s sad to see that there are 7.6 million drug addicts currently in Pakistan. Many are experiencing the harmful symptoms. Most are forced to continue their drug addiction just like Kamlesh for fear of the withdrawal symptoms. Kamlesh clearly says that he had experienced vomits of blood when he wasn’t able to get his ‘solution’.

Drug addiction of this degree is unlikely to be ever cured. As if poverty was not enough, sadly we will soon have to deal with the drug addiction problem as well. What can you expect from a boy who spends more than half of his money on drugs and even offers them to the stranger? This only shows us that the boy is naive and doesn’t know what’s good or bad.

kamlesh

They are children we’ve all seen on the roadways. We’ve pitied them and overlooked them; the goal now should be to bring them to light. This isn’t a concern to be treated lightly; they’re the continuing future of our region and the world. When you have seen a kid like Kamlesh, you get to realize the realities of this world. Innocent children are burning their life away on drugs.

What can we expect from our society? We need to understand that instead of poking fun at a serious matter we need to make an effort to stop it.

Reality Check

It’s not just poverty and lack of education problem. Many of our universities, to some extent, are not alien to this problem too. Recent surveys of top universities of Islamabad and Lahore indicated more than 50% students use drugs. And the trend is on the rise.

What are we heading to?

THIS IS NOT FUN, AND THIS IS NOT OKAY IN ANY CAPACITY. And obviously no, it is not okay even if you want to try it once.