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Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Children on Mumbai streets

I get very disturbed when I see kids on the streets. They should be studying in some school. Education in India is not very expensive, and there are many NGO’s who are willing to help, but still, how these kids land up on the road and beg at every street signals, is a mystery to me. I don’t like to give them money or patronize them in any ways because I am worried about their future, if they get the taste of money at this young age, and learn that they can earn money by begging or selling on the streets, they will never understand that education is more important. While rich children lead a sheltered and comfortable life, we have poor children who are doing all kids of odd jobs like selling their wares, or begging in the local trains or cooking on the street. Rich parents would never allow their kids to even light a match and here we have street kids as young as five years old, lighting the fire and sitting so close to it. We have six year old child selling her wares in the local train. Seven year old child will do streets shows like tight rope walking Eight year old might be the street musicians Ten year old might be seen begging and crying of pain. Some of the kids are tortured and forced to beg. And some of them are learning to steal at this tender age. I remember of a day, when I was traveling in an auto and I had a food packet in my hand. At one signal, one child came and snatched the food packet from my hand. The signal changed to green and my auto drove on, but I was sorry that the child had to forcibly snatch the food packet from my hand, had he asked me politely I might have given it to him. What these children will grow up to be? I dread about its outcome

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