Basic rights- a question for a street child
How often do you think a street child takes a shower? Does he or she wash his or her hands? Is street child aware about education? What do they eat? Basic rights have always been a question for a street child. While most of us ignore the misery of these kids, there are organizations that work day and night to support and raise the voices of the street kids.
To support the International day for street children, a team of South Asian Literature Prize & Events Trust went out to the streets of Delhi for 3 days and spoke to over 300 street-connected children to understand the stigma related to health, child labour, drugs, education, inequality and gender.
Meanwhile, it also organised an event, Street Talk 3, at the Islamic Trust, New Delhi on the International Day for Street Children in collaboration with CHETNA NGO and Salaam Baalak Trust. It was an event that was held to give street children a platform to talk for themselves and demand policies that could uplift them.
“We at the South Asian Literature Prize and Events trust are committed to spread awareness through literature. Balaknama a newspaper started by these children is also an important piece of literature that gives us an insight into the lives of the most marginalized section of society . We are pleased to be associated with Salam Balak Trust and Chetna to celebrate the International day of the street child,” says Ms Lily Narula, Director of the trust.
“I used to clean plates at a chowmein stall to support my family,” 13-year-old Nitish says, taking pauses to steady himself and hold back the tears. “But now I go to school and I stood first in my class for two consecutive years.”
The South Asian Literature Prize & Events Trust is focused on improving the quality of life in South Asian society. It believes that literature and education are crucial for the well being of the people, and help create the opportunities that are required for life improvement. It highlights these issues by reaching out to different audiences through its various partnerships and initiatives. These include events revolving around charity work for the underprivileged and literary forums to widen the conversation on South Asian writing.
Children who had to resort to waste-picking, domestic work, begging and child labour for sustenance took the stage confidently speaking about their struggles and taking questions from the audience. Throwing light on the challenges faced by girls living and earning on the streets, Farzana, 11, who studies in Class 3, says, “Often during selling toys on buses, people try to touch us inappropriately. We can’t do anything but just move to the other side.” She goes on to add that often their earnings are stolen by other children.
– PTC NEWS