International street children day is celebrated annually on 12th April. This day was launched in 2011 and it is now celebrated in over 130 countries. This day is celebrated to generate awareness and take steps to protect the rights of street children. Every year this day follows a theme and this year the theme for international street children day is “Rights”. It’s a bitter truth that no body cares about the rights of these children; they even don’t accept them as the member of the society. Therefore, the International street children day’s aim is to raise awareness and funds for millions of children that are denied from their basic rights.
We see countless kids roaming around the city all day round but this issue is not the most problematic issue because we already know that the number is far too high.The bigger problem is that many of these children struggle to form an identity for themselves. For example, they do not have a birth certificate or ID card, which often means that they cannot access essential services like education and healthcare. The main issue is they are being invisible to the eyes of passerby’s. They are being ignored, as if they don’t exist. We see many a children daily on the streets of our town, rag pickers, beggars, sweepers, chai sellers, and the list goes on. We see children on the pavements and footpaths selling 2 pens for 5 rupees, a box of incense sticks, and roses. We see these children at the market place. They’d grab your foot asking you for some money or something to eat, and you just can’t help it. The life of these children is full of difficulties and unfortunate instances.These children are often homeless hungry or malnutrition and they don’t shy away from eating the food stuff we usually throw in public dustbins.
They are not only starving but vulnerable as well. Some of them are forced to earn the whole day by their poor parents and some of them are more unfortunate and don’t have parents. These children are vulnerable to many crimes and exploitation which our cities are often filled with. Human trafficking is one of the most heinous of crimes that these children may fall prey to. They roam around in tattered clothes and barefoot without any shelter or care. They have no one to guide them and no one to nurture them. They grow up without any moral, financial, and social support. The society often considers these children to be a problem, delinquents, weak and destitute, but these children found themselves to be brave, self-reliant, and helping their family.
On behalf of NAYS-Pakistan, it’s our duty to educate the masses to treat street children with compassion and humility by putting ourselves in their shoes. Whenever we happen to see such children, we should not be condescending towards them. These kids are also smart intelligent and capable of doing good in the society, having given the opportunity.
Street children are the part of the society, they must not been thrown out of the society for their living, earning and future. They should be given the respect and needs attention from all corners, by giving shelter, needs (like earning and living), and education for their growth. Not only NGOs but government should support them for growth.Bringing them into the main stream will certainly reduce the population of street children.
Article: Ms. Sundeela Fayyaz