Children’s story

Despite the existence of over a dozen NGOs working to rehabilitate street children, the miserable lives of hundreds of street children in the capital have not turned much better. In fact, an increasing number of them continue to make the streets their abode — the result of poverty and the lack of care at home for whatever reasons. According to some social organisations working in the field, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to rehabilitate these street urchins. Most of them are forced to fend for themselves. As a result of their undisciplined living and the bad company they keep, many of them take to bad habits and even resort to criminal activities.

However, two NGOs — Street Kids International and Saath Saath — say they have enabled, through training, dozens of street children in the capital to earn their bread by running small businesses. Though children are supposed to go to school instead of struggling to make ends meet, it is better for them to make a living through reputable means than to indulge in undesirable activities. NGOs tend to inflate the importance of the work they have done, and therefore it is hard to take any claims made by them uncritically. Indeed, there are dozens of NGOs engaged in the field of children’s welfare, but the outcome of their combined efforts has not been considerable. Therefore, both the government and NGOs need to become more serious about the need to rehabilitate street urchins. Cosmetic and sporadic measures are not enough.