KATHMANDU, July 15
The government has conceived a plan of managing and rescuing street children in the Kathmandu Valley.
“The rescue, protection and management of street children will be made more effective. I have allocated budget to search disappeared children as well as for rescue, relief and rehabilitation of the children at risk,” reads an excerpt of the budget speech presented by Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat for the fiscal year 2015-16 at the Legislature-Parliament yesterday.
According to a report of Child Protection Centres and Services, an NGO, there are around 5,000 street children all over Nepal. It is estimated that the number of street children is approximately 1,200-1,500 in Kathmandu alone. Around 15 per cent of the children in the street are from Sunsari in eastern Tarai. Eighty-six per cent of rag pickers work round-the-clock. Similarly, 75 per cent street boys in
Kathmandu are victims of sexual abuse at the hands of foreigners, locals and their peers, according to the report.
The main reasons for migration, which finally forces them to end up in streets, are family violence (41.1 per cent), peer influence (27.1 per cent), family economic situation (19.6 per cent), family disintegration (15.9 per cent), to escape from conflict situations (0.9 per cent) and to seek opportunities (3.7 per cent). CWIN Nepal said street children are among the high risk and insecure groups and are vulnerable to various forms of exploitation and abuses. They are also exposed to alcohol, drugs and tobacco. They find alcohol and drugs as a solution to all their worries, tensions and problems. Some of the risks and dangers they face are violence (moral and physical), drugs addiction, threatening from gangs, social exclusion, health problems, delinquency, criminality, alcoholism, starvation and lack of self-esteem among others.
Similarly, the government will be providing different types of skills and professional trainings to disabled people. “The long-term rehabilitation programme will be further expanded for the completely disabled, helpless and people from marginalised classes. The government and public office buildings and the means of public transport will be gradually made disabled-friendly, and appropriate arrangements will be made for the protection of helpless senior citizens. Shelters for senior citizens running in various places will be renovated and equipped with entertainment facilities,” said Mahat.
The government is launching programmes to end all kinds of violence against women and adolescent girls who have been at risk and suffering from economic and social backwardness, poor, single, affected by sexual violence, natural disaster under the Yogamaya Women Empowerment Programme.
A version of this article appears in print on July 16, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.