Call to change attitude towards street kids

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, January 11:

Speakers of an interaction on ‘Street Children’s Daily Encounter with Police’ stressed the need for the police, INGOs, NGOs and journalists to change their attitudes towards street children. Stating that INGOs and NGOs working for the street children should change their strategies, they also said that love, care and trainings are what they need. The interaction was organised by the Jagaran Forum Nepal (JAFON). A drama was also organised to bring to light the plight of street children, “who have become a means to fulfil the vested interests of organisations, journalists, donors and the police.”

A book titled Street Life, the outcome of a six-month-long research on the background of street children and their challenges, showed that over 90 per cent of police personnel treat them in a harsh manner. It also revealed that the girl children living in the streets are sexually exploited. However, the women’s cell and the women police treat the street children humanely. Buddhi Nepali, an employee of the JAFON, who was a street children once, said,” “Street children and their issues should be handled sensitively,” adding, “though a large amount of money has been flowing in this sector, the impact has been negligible.”

“Street children can earn their livelihood by collecting garbage and begging. Distribution of clothes, food is not that important,” he said, adding that they should be given training on technical skills and taught ways to manage their earnings. Raju Chettri of the JAFON, who was also a street children once, blamed the citizens for humiliating the street children.

Accusing the police of harassing them and the journalists of being surfacial, he said that even NGOs and INGOs were motivated to please the donors.