What Kind of Problems Children Face on Street for Living and Livelihood?

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A child is pushed on to the street for many reasons, he seeks to run away from the hardships within the four walls of his house but in doing so he hopes his freedom will not rob him of the warmth, care and security that the home provides.

Most kids come from dysfunctional or broken family settings where neglect, abuse, parental discord and the like are every day happenings. Other equally important reasons are seeking a better life style, in search of a job, peer pressure, educational difficulties and poverty.

On the street the child is left to fend for himself, in this process of coping his overnight becomes an independent adult and is faced with a number of hardships and trials. This situation of survival coupled with personalized needs make the child vulnerable.

No sooner does the child live on the street, he experiences the feeling of anomie. This result from exploitation, abuse, trauma, home lessens depression, neglect, insecurity, harassment and destitution. All these factors affect the core of the child more than the mere deprivation of the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter.

Correspondingly, the child feels that he does not belong to a system that discards him. He internalizes this external focus of control to a feeling of "I am nobody". From this premise, he views the world with suspicion, mistrust, fear and the desperate needs to survive on his own e\en if he has to encroach on other's property.

1. A few shots of children on the railway platform, streets, working and begging.

2. Interviews of children on WHY DID THEY RUN AWAY FROM HOME?

Categorised of Street Children:

1. Children on the street who live with their families. They have the support of their families though they work on the street.

2. Children who live on the streets with the streets as their family. It is the street that gives them shelter, food and fosters a sense of belonging and companionship. A majority of them have no ties with their families. Whenever they have ties, they are remote and contacts with their family are few and far between.

3. Children on the streets who have no contact at all with their families. They include orphans, runaways and refugees.

Children who run away from home can be classified into two groups:

(1) Children run away from unpleasant or traumatic home environment. They - have family problems that they are unable to resolve, for example-alcoholism, child abuse, ill treatment by step parents, unemployment and poverty. They have experienced conflicts, which go beyond their tolerance level.

(2) Children who run away from home to taste the exciting experiences of glamorised city life.

Problems they face while on the street:

The street children face various problems from the police, older boys, their employee, parents, lack of shelter; and health facility, recreational facility, etc. They also face the problem from general police-i.e. negative attitude of people towards these children.

Problem they face for livelihood:

Most of them work as ragpickers, coolie, jetty venders, selling water bottles on the Railway and Bus stations; a few of them also work on Tea stalls, Dhabas, etc. Some are also engaged in begging, pick-pocketing etc.


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