A very disturbing video of a nine-year Australian boy, who suffers from a disorder called achondroplasia which causes dwarfism, had become viral after it was posted by the boy's mother. In it, the kid expresses a wish to commit suicide due to the relentless bullying he faced at school from other kids because of his peculiar condition.
Now, the National Rugby League (NRL), Australia's premier rugby competition, has made the day of the young boy by giving him the opportunity to lead out the indigenous All-Star Australian rugby team in an Indigenous All-Star XI vs Maori Kiwis exhibition match.
Quaden Bayles held the hand of the captain of the All-Star team Joel Thompson and walked out on to the field of the CBus Super Stadium in Gold Coast, Australia, with the rest of team behind them. The mother of Quaden described this experience as the 'best day of his life.'
Yarraka Quaden, the mother, gave a heart-wrenching account of the torment that her son has to go through due to the cruelty of other boys in the school. "I've just picked my son up from school, witnessed a bullying episode, rang the principal, and I want people to know - parents, educators, teachers - this is the effect that bullying has. Every single day, something happens. Another episode, another bullying, another taunt, another name-calling."
The video went viral on the internet and saw thousands of people responding to it. This included Australian Hollywood star Hugh Jackman who wrote "Quaden, you've got a friend a me" and posted a video of himself to lend moral support to the boy.
Bullying has become a serious issue in the western world and has drawn the attention of several noted celebrities. In fact, US First Lady Melania Trump has even launched a campaign to combat bullying in her country. Many weeks ago, another disturbing video from UK had gone viral on Twitter where a boy was being beaten up by his schoolmates.
That video also garnered a lot of attention and saw several former sportspersons, including people like Shane Warne and Michael Vaughan, reacting angrily to it. Yarraka Quaden is an activist who fights for issues relating to the indigenous community of Australia as well as people suffering from disability.
She has to be commended for sharing the video of her son and letting the whole world know how cruel and insensitive some kids are in their school and the lack of support that is being provided by the school authorities to them. Hopefully, the story won't end with Quaden and lead to greater awareness about bullying and action against it.