I have seen them for several years: these children collect plastic bags and other waste materials from the streets. These children who work and live on the streets are called street children. They start earning from an early age and are quite laborious. But due to the absence of love from parents and lack of education, they are somewhat wild and undisciplined.

However, they are lovely children. People have described them with a cruel term khate, referring to the level of these children.

The dogs on the streets also appear that they cannot tolerate these street children and bark at then and even bite them at times. Despite this, street children continue their daily activities with full strength. They neither know about their future nor are aware of their rights.

Some of them create problems by quarrelling, stealing for which they are severely beaten, and are even given harsh punishments — both physical and mental torture. Street children indulge in many unhealthy activities like drug addiction, smoking, alcoholism. And as a result the majority of them are suffering from many incurable diseases.

Offices concerned with the welfare of such children be it government or NGOs/INGOs should take care of them, their rights and protect them in order to build a stronger pillar for a new Nepal. The respected people of society should also build an environment of acceptance and respect for these children as they are equal to other children of the country.

If such a step is not taken, then it will be difficult to predict what the new Nepal will be like where children are not properly taken care of.

— Bibhu Poudel, A-Level, Malpi Institute