Lalitpur, April 15:

Although some children are being seen during protest programmes in the capital, the involvement of street children in the ongoing demonstrations and clashes is minimal.

“We are monitoring the activities of street children, particularly in localities like Thamel, Durbar Marg and Ratna Park to make sure that they don’t get involved in riots and demonstrations,” said Kabir Pradhan, sub-Inspector at the Women and Children Service Centre (WCSC) of the Valley Police Office. He said various non-governmental organisations along with WCSC are observing the children for their security and safety and giving them orientation about the risks.

Pradhan said demonstrations in Gongabu area saw a high participation of children, mostly teenagers and grown-up boys involved in rag-picking while some were street children and porters. Many street children make a living from rag-picking, so they swarm the localities mostly after the protest scenes to collect scraps, said Suchita Shah, programme manager of Sath Sath. Amrit Pariyar and his friends have been moving to those places after the riots end to collect wire from the remains of burnt tyres and aluminum scraps of used tear gas shells.

The alliance of the nine governmental and non-governmental organisations working for children has begun to monitor the presence of children in demonstrations and keep them away from riots.

“As part of the monitoring of children’s involvement, the alliance members visited hospitals and found that the children admitted in the hospitals were not seriously injured,” Bharat Adhikary, programme officer at CWIN, said: “We have found very few street children are involved in the demonstrations.”