Studies conducted by UNICEF and other international bodies inform that Indian street kids go through immense suffering in their day to day life. These street kids not only face social apathy but are exploited by criminal gangs.
Poverty and family discord often lead them to street life. Most of these street kids work as rag pickers. They collect unwanted gibberish and sell them to local shop keepers who later resell them to small business units. These things are later recycled by business units.
However, these kids hardly earn anything out of it. Since they stay in a group, they often pay a certain amount to their leader.
Exploitation: NGOs working in the child welfare sector inform that these street kids not only face economic hardships but also sexual abuse. They live under very pathetic conditions where they are vulnerable to health hazards. Major health studies inform that many street kids are afflicted with AIDS and STD.
Lack of proper health education and adverse social conditions put a negative influence on their minds. Many of them are prone to substance use and often take to them at an early age.
Ring leaders who are hardcore criminals use these kids as a conduit for their drug operations.
Menial jobs: These kids often run errands for street hawkers. One may find them selling magazines, newspapers and pirated books. They also work at roadside eateries, where they attend tables or act as dishwashers.
NGOs: Noted NGOs such as CRY, butterfly and SOS village often take care of such kids. These NGOs take care of their financial and emotional needs. One can safely say, these NGOs are trying hard to make these kids part of mainstream society.
Help them: NGOs run on financial support from others. You can donate a small amount to any credible NGO with a proven track record in child welfare sector. You can also join them as a volunteer where you can participate in specific projects.
Treat street kids with love, care and respect. Who knows, their blessings may change your life!
Contributed By: Ashish Dimri is a practicing wordsmith and wrote this to sensitize others. Contact him: [email protected]
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