We need no diamonds!
Say, ‘Goo-goo’ and ‘glug-glug’
Or sing a lullaby
To hell with your high intellect
The baby mustn’t cry
So does the Sufi
With no stain of condescension
Bring the essence of Him
To our frail attention.-Rumi
Dragged by an acquaintance to roam in the lanes of the society I live in, I was encountered by a bunch of nuisance so easily. I was left wondering while standing in the midst of loud noises, diverting my attention towards them. They were the yelling obvious ills of this society. Somehow, managing to get out of this hustle bustle, following some giggles from a crowd of introverts, a circle of some traumatized innocent, pure souls grabbed me so silently, yet firmly, that no word could explain. The future of the nation, Yes! This is what I have been hearing since I have heard the word “children”. Ignored, neglected and overlooked, this future of our country is living abandoned lives on the streets unprotected. Lamentably, we have shut our eyes so tightly to them. Out of desensitization, they don’t make any noise and they don’t complain anymore, so, we have an easy excuse to raise our hands from this needful duty of protecting them. These diamonds, who are our assets, are left unattended on the streets.
A little talk to them revealed their necessity for the destined unknown hidden and unapprehended survival on the streets. Many of them are the rejected and abandoned fellows by the poor instable and neglectful families. Poverty and inability to parent a child guided them to these paths. Some made a deliberate self-attempt to escape the despondency suffocating them to death. They found streets a place of solace and consolation from the daily ingredient of domestic violence and abusive relatives in their former lives. A very large number came to explore the non-existing opportunities and advantages to elude and circumvent the severe economic stress. In hunt of ‘work’, they found jobs of begging, washing cars, gathering and selling scrap and promoting prostitution. Being a female, a stigma to the family’s name, ended up some on these routes; genetically discriminated poor souls. An undue duress from the family for early marriages was yet another cause.
Unaware of the harshness of the streets, they received a really warm welcome from the treacherous miserable life. Inhabiting in the side corners of the roads, under the enormous bridges of the city, on the bare earth with just a sky of many million hectares over the head, crime, drugs, disease and delinquency embraced them. They are literally deprived of their basic necessities. They have no right to food, health, education or non-discrimination. Dehumanization is all that we see. No pity for a child wandering on the streets with a stack of scrap, double his size, collecting garbage to survive the next day. Ironically, before progressing to the streets, they have experienced multiple violations of their rights which lead them to acquire a strong connection to the streets. In malice of all the harshness, threats of violence, hazardous weather conditions, hassles and hardships they have become resilient to survive this homeless unmonitored life with a peaceful grin on their typeface.
The trouble is not streetism but the grievous load it has set on the progress promotion and welfare of this state, nation and society.This is a vast number of people who are physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, morally, socially and cognitively maldeveloped. Most of the time they are even chastised by authorities, kicked out of their new homes too, which are the doorways, railways, bridges of this land. They are highly emotionally debilitated. They survive alone, alone in gangs, alone in crowds, alone in cities and alone in this cosmos. We may have turned our back to them, but the flesh-trader never forget these undocumented individuals, resulting in human trafficking, giving this society an utterly disgusting image. Many of these unidentified human beings just disappear and nobody knows it ever. This is a vicious cycle, where these children grow up, strive through their youth, get adult and repeat the same to the children of the time that happened to them.
Even graver than all these tribulations is our sincere ignorance. Out of our conscientious stupidity, we all who claim to be educated share their misery equally. We are completely unaware and ignorant of what we are losing by losing them. It is a high time that we open our eyes to these streets, look into the upsurge of this worrisome trouble. There are many government and nongovernment organization trying to eradicate this issue, but many of them fail to reach them. Collective efforts are needed to fight out this ailment. Every individual needs to get involved and accept this socio-educational challenge. Silently watching and labeling them as throwaways and the runaways would not help. Knowing and recognizing is the first measure to the maturation of a propitious future and ignorance a first shock and blow to demolish it. Note the high illiteracy rate and keep the future at peril. They all need you and your assistance. Stand up to reintegrate these souls in the society as a productive member. Serve your young friends to live a safer life in this loveless desert. Move around this society into a more honest position with any small effort you can exercise to aid them have a citizenship in this world. Every bit counts and you will stand even taller if you will kneel down to assist a child.
Every child has the equal right to get the education. Government has to take the initiative to make sure that every child will get basic primary and secondary education.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela
Our youth is in dire need of this weapon to change not only their destiny but also the fate of this country. Only through education they can stand up against all the wrongs and turn the things up in their favour. It is only the literate youth that has the power to write the brightest fortune of any country.
“I believe the best service to the child is the service closest to the child, and children who are victims of neglect, abuse or abandonment must not also be victims of bureaucracy. They deserve our devoted attention, not our divided attention.” – Kenny Guinn