The term street children mean those children who are and have to live on the streets of the city and belong to deprived family. They need care and shelter and because of not having the basic needs compel them to come on the streets in their childhood. In Pakistan about 1.6 million children are street children and mostly are migrants from Afghanistan and undeveloped areas of Pakistan with or without their families.
In Pakistan mostly children does not live on the streets but they live off the streets, public places and they do earn by different means like begging and “hang out” with their peers more and less around the clock and its growing just like a bullet. Because of undeveloped rural areas and especially those who don’t have properties, lands and proper shelter in those areas, have forced these families and children to migrate towards bigger city which also increases the urban’s problem. Pakistan’s urban population is growing at a fast pace and one of the main reason is these immigrants as well. Unfortunately even the developed cities don’t have facility and infrastructure to undertake these families. And has resulted a high rate of adult employment in these families, children of these families have to come out on the streets to support themselves and their families. Due to unemployment of their families these children are getting more weakened and play a very vital impact on their future lives.
Majority of these children are boys and are sent out to the city to earn or being run away from their homes for their basic needs but unfortunately most of them never return to their homes. Mostly also belong to the deprived areas of the urban as well; some are from broken homes or households headed by a woman. Some of them may have been neglected by their families but most of them run away from home because of abusive and exploitative family relations, and thus bus stops, railway stations and marketplaces become their homes and workplaces.
We can’t say that only runaway children are street children; there are various forms of street children who are facing different human behaviors in society in their daily routine life. These children are vulnerable during work and in their normal life routine as well. Thousands of children mostly working in different areas of city at tea stall as a table boy, helpers for steel work, street hawkers, trash pickers, hotel worker, beggars at roads, truck boy and working with transport industry and most of them mentally and physically humiliated most of the time.
But the society has a specific mind set about these families and children. Mostly think, that is the living style of deprived class and they can survive in these difficult and worst circumstances. No Govt. can handle this sort of issue individually as the most crucial issue in this era is poverty, but organizations with the corporation of local philanthropy must start or redesign the projects according to the ground realities.
Most of these are boys and they have to work in their younger age either on streets or workplaces and their lives are at a risk in different means both mentally and physically as they have to work in different conditions. During their work they are behaved badly and humiliated. Lack of education, food, drugs, human trading and other factors are critical issues in this regard.
According to our environment it’s an acceptable phenomenon and we should do encouragement for the rights of abused children to make awareness among the general public. We should try to change the mentality approach about these children because these neglected children need to be loved and care like every other child.
There should be a project based service delivery package for this population which can make awareness about rights and responsibilities. There should be a participative approach with children otherwise we cannot bring a productive change. Participative approach of skilled and motivated human resource is an essential part of success of project. NGOs can and are playing a very vital role in this regard.
EAHD (Education and Health Develeopment) Foundation has the same approach and wants to impart their efforts to help out these children by having a shelter base school where we can try our level best to change the society’s mentally approach about these deprived children. So come and join hands with us for this purpose for the prosperity of country and these children.