Saturday, November 19, 2016

Concern for Street Children

I felt so shamed and depraved too see a NGO hoarding in the Amsterdam Central Station - featuring Child beggar of India. It was a fund raising poster from a NGO to support the cause for street children.

I was also the one who yelled against Danny Boyle’s portrayal of India in Slumdog Millionaire; but over the years…after living in 2-3 metro cities of India, now I realize that environments of street children in India is not as bad as Boyle showed it - In fact they are even more worse😢.

Among the many impossible tasks, the counting of exact number of street children is also a mere impossible. Some estimate from UNICEF says, there could be approx..10 to 40 million in India alone, whereas the percentage of YoY increase is alarmingly so high !.

Street Children is a challenging issue for most of underdeveloped and heavily populated countries such as India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and several other countries of the world but unfortunately, there hasn’t been any motivated effort ever made to widely discuss the matter of “street children” anywhere around the world. There is no well-managed, well-coordinated, detailed research and study ever conducted or existing on this issue of prime importance.

Who are they? How do they become street children?

Children can be found in railway stations, near temples/Churches/Masks, in markets, under bridges, near bus depots and stops, etc. According to UNICEF street children fall under two categories: “On the street” and “Of the street”.

"Children of the street" are homeless children who live and sleep on the streets in urban areas. They are on their own and do not have any parental supervision or care though some do live with other homeless adults.

"Children on the street" earn a livelihood from street such as street urchins and beggars. They return home at night and have contact with their families.

The distinction is an important one because children of the street lack emotional and psychological support of a family and the impact they’d create in the society when they grow is also very critical!.

How should we solve this problem?

Its so easy to ask, but the solution is a giant task. There are Many NGO’s and government agencies are working together to help these children, steps like extending extra health facilities, establishing nutrition programs, providing vocational training, protecting children from abuse, distributing dry-food poly packs, providing night shelters, providing ration cards, and creating bathing and toilet facilities are some of the steps that may lead to improvement in these children’s life.

In order to provide services to this vulnerable group of children the Government of India began the Integrated Programme for Street Children.

If you care for these poor kids and willing to help, please reach out the supporting government & NGO/volunteers and help whatever you can - to bring them out of the streets .  #streetchildren #EveryLastChild #slumdog

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