A growing number of children now find themselves living in the streets. Some of these children have been forced away from home by parents/guardians or have run away to escape abuse. Others have had to leave school to hawk wares in order to help support their families who are affected by poverty. This increasing phenomenon is a disturbing one given that these children have little or no access to their basic needs of food, clothing and shelter and are exposed to criminal activities like theft and prostitution.
There will never be a better time to take action on their behalf than now. Providing long-lasting solutions to the problems faced by street children goes beyond rhetoric and lackluster short term projects. The onus falls on all of us to demand that this problem be given top priority and not be trivialized. The more time we waste, the more these hapless young children become vulnerable to all sorts of abuse and many lose the opportunity to become educated and successful in life.
Children are the future we see. How we handle issues concerning them will go long way in determining the future of the world at large. Concerted efforts must be made to rehabilitate them and provide them with opportunities for education and care. The underlying issue, which is poverty needs to be tackled in our various societies to stop child labor and abuse. We know that solving the problem of having children in the streets will take a while, but a first step in the right direction is all it takes to make it happen.
Street children deserve a happy childhood and a bright future. We all can make this happen. Happy Street Children’s Day!