To start with, they face the difficulty of being invisible to the eyes of passerby’s. Yes, it’s the very first difficulty that street children face –being ignored, as if they don’t exist; as if they don’t belong there. And unfortunately, there’s nowhere that thy can belong.
We see many a children daily on the streets of our town –rag pickers, beggars, sweepers, chai sellers, and the list goes on. We see children on the pavements and footpaths selling 2 pens for 5 rupees, a box of incense sticks, and roses. We see these children at the market place. They’d grab your foot asking you for some money or something to eat, and you just can’t help it.
The life of these children is full of difficulties and unfortunate instances which you and I can’t even imagine. Being homeless and hungry are some to start with. These children are often malnutritioned and they don’t shy away from eating the food stuff we usually throw in public dustbins. Yes, the next time you see a little child on footpath selling pens or flowers, try to understand the hunger that gleams with innocence in their eyes.
They are not only starving but vulnerable as well. Some of them see the faces of their parents only at night –which they are scared to face if they don’t have earned anything the whole day. Some of them are more unfortunate and don’t have parents. These children are vulnerable to many crimes and exploitation which urban cities are often filled with. Human trafficking is one of the most heinous of crimes that these children may fall prey to.
Apart from this, these children don’t have any access to hygienic and healthy surroundings and education. These basic necessities of developing years of any child pass away on the roads where they roam about in tattered clothes and barefoot without any shelter or care. They have no one to guide them and no one to nurture them. They grow up without any moral, financial, and social support, like outcasts.
All these things get them caught up in a vicious cycle in which they lead the life of vagabonds, beggars, etc, and likewise is the fate of their children too. In some cases it goes on till generations. Girls more than often found themselves in brothels or as the wives of such people only.
This is just a tip of an iceberg. These street children and their untreated conditions is one of the major contributing factors of Poverty in India.