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Street Children

Street Children

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Published by mohammed_jibran

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Published by: mohammed_jibran on Apr 03, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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It's good to be scaredTo be scared means you have something to loseI am always scaredAnd I think it's pretty goodThe future of those childrenThe children from bad homesThe children from bad schoolsAnd back againYet I know some might make itSome might tryBut many will notAnd that scares me mostI am really scared of the future aheadWhat might and what might notAnd hope for a clear futureFor all the street children
Poverty Poetry - Two Worlds
You don't know my city or the dusty streets where I liveYou don't know my name; you don't know
.You have your own troubles, your 
world ± why should I be in it?Your world is school and homework; TV and music; shopping and friendsYou are concerned about your grades, your weight and your Mum nagging you to clean up your  bedroomAnd will she buy those designer jeans you must have for the Party on Saturday night.You are looking forward to your holiday in America and leaving school to get that job you'vealways wanted.My world is hard, unloving, unfair, ...worseI don't have any designer jeans, just this one, dirty, threadbare dressI have never been to school; I've never read a book I have no Mum to nag me, or care for me ± she died three years agoI have no bedroom to keep tidy, because I have no home.I'm concerned about where I will sleep tonight ± will the Policeman wake me up, beat me up,lock me up, worse...?
I'm concerned about my aching, empty stomachI'm not well - I have a disease I can't spell and no medicine to treat itI have nothing to look forward to...Except an early, lonely death from a disease my underfed body could not resist.They call me beggar, thief, worse...They look at me with hate in their eyes, then chase me away ± what have I done?!You see my picture in your newspaper and on your TV screen, but you turn awayYou don't see
in your world ± 
world.I am also aboard spaceship earth, but you are a rich passenger and I am a poor oneYou
understand my world: ask questions, find answers, find ME!Will you try? It might help you make sense of your own world.What's my name?
name is Street Child of India.
FRISHTA, a NGO working for the betterment of the street children has this poem on their website, why?
Street children are those for whom the street, more than their family, has become their realhome.Street children or orphans can be divided into three main categories:
Children on the Street:
he largest category, these children have homes and mostreturn to their families at the end of the day. Most earn a living for themselves andtheir families by begging or working.
Children of the Street:
Children who have chosen the street as their home and aplace to seek shelter, livelihood, and companionship.
hey are in contact with their family occasionally.
Abandoned Children:
hese children have severed all ties with their families and areentirely on their own.
Nobody knows for sure. Estimates differ widely ± anywhere from 30 to 170 million.
treet children: a vicious cycle of violence & poverty
KARACHI: The links between poverty, child abuse and child labour take on renewedsignificance given that there are an estimated 70,000 children on the streets in Pakistan. Datacomplied by the Azad Foundation indicates that there are 12,000 homeless children between the
ages of seven and 17 in Karachi alone, while a report presented by the Madadgar helpline for women and children says that the figure could be as high as 15,000.Where violence and poverty forced the majority of these children to abandon their homes in thefirst place, the viciousness of life on the street forces them towards crime and substance abuse.Research conducted by some non-profit organisations shows the most such runaways come fromlarge families that have recently migrated to Karachi from various rural areas. In the city, most of them come from areas such as Korangi, PIB Colony and Macher Colony. The fact that anestimated 66 per cent cite physical abuse at home or at the workplace as the reason they ran awayseems to prove American writer Zig Ziglar¶s comment that ³Kids go where there is excitement;they stay where there is love.´Abuse and addictionAccording to Anwer Qazi, secretary to Abdul Sattar Edhi, the majority of the runaways are boysand most of them are addicted to sniffing glue or petrol or smoking cigarettes, hashish and evenheroin. While the Sindh Child Act and a number of other laws declare the governmentresponsible for the safety and protection of all children, there is no official support network in place to help them. Mr Qazi told Dawn that the police bring a few such destitutes to the EdhiCentre but the boys usually elect to return to the street and scrounge for food and small change.Such boys are often encouraged to leave their homes by an acquaintance who has already doneit, and few ever return. Dr Aisha Mahnaz, a paediatric doctor and a member of the Kompal ChildAbuse Prevention Society says that runaways generally join a group of other street children, andthe newest entrant becomes the group leader¶s favourite. While this brings access to drugs, foodand clothing, it also means sexual abuse by the group leader. According to Dr Mahnaz,homosexuality is prevalent among street children and a new member is initially protected fromeveryone except the leader, till he is replaced as the favourite.On their own, such boys are vulnerable to being sexually abused by the drivers of transportvehicles and upper class men, says Aqsa Zainab, project manager of the Azad Foundation. Theytherefore prefer to stay in a gang where such widespread abuse is less likely. However, thevicious cycle of sexual abuse means that the victim soon develops the character of an abuser andforms his own gang of younger street children, she comments.A circle of violenceMost such boys carry a razor blade with them as a means of self-protection or the intimidation of others. Sometimes, says Ms Zainab, the group leader will even instigate boys to fight each other 

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