كُنۡتُمۡ خَيۡرَ اُمَّةٍ اُخۡرِجَتۡ لِلنَّاسِ تَاۡمُرُوۡنَ بِالۡمَعۡرُوۡفِ وَتَنۡهَوۡنَ عَنِ الۡمُنۡكَرِ وَتُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِاللّٰهِؕۗ... ... ...
You are the best community ever raised for humanity—you encourage good, forbid evil, and believe in Allah. Had the People of the Book believed, it would have been better for them. Some of them are faithful, but most are rebellious. (Al Quran- 3:110)
The word child is mixed with love, caress and affection. But when children are called street children, tokai, street boy, etc., it hits the chest. Why call a child a street child? Is that why he is on the street? Then I ask again, why would a child be on the street? I know there is no acceptable answer. Even then the number of street children in our country is increasing day by day. In fact, at the root of it is ignorance, poverty, lack of education and awareness. A class of uneducated and poor people give birth to children unplanned and abandon them after a certain period of time. Or many parents die. Thus the number of neglected street children continues to increase. These parents beat their children to earn a living. From then on their neglected life of misery began.
In fact, human humanity and humanity is declining day by day. As a result, the number of street children is also increasing. Does it ever move our conscience? What is the future of the little kids today who sell magazines on the street, sell flowers or ask for money to eat something? At the age when they should have books, plastic bags in their hands. On the streets they find plastic. What a cruel painful scene! At present there is no specific information about the number of street children in Bangladesh. Someone said 21 lakh. Again someone said 24 lakh. However, 50,000 of these children are literally on the streets. A study by the Ministry of Social Welfare found that 51 per cent of street children were 'victims of obscene language'. 20 percent are physically abused. Girls are the most sexually harassed. 14.5% of street children are sexually abused. And 48 percent of female street children are victims of sexual abuse.
Some of the street children became addicted to drugs and died on the streets. Some are trafficked through various cycles. Those who are trafficked are sold their organs. They are victims of various kinds of torture. Those girls, they are victims of sexual abuse. Some gangs force them to be sex workers. In addition, criminal gangs use them in various illegal businesses, including drugs. They are not actually criminals. They are victims of crime. Political parties also use them for various purposes.
According to a report by the Social and Economic Enhancement Program (SIP), about 44 percent of street children are addicted to drugs, 41 percent have no bed, 40 percent cannot take a bath, 35 percent defecate in the open, and 54 percent are sick. No one is there and 75 percent of the children are sick and cannot communicate with the doctor. According to the same study, 34.4% of children stay in a certain place for a maximum of six months.
If we think with a little healthy brain, the life of these street children is very complicated. They have to live with people much older than themselves. Begging is also to be done. And they collect various things from the risky environment for sale. They are affected by various diseases. 25-30 percent of street children are girls. They are at the highest risk. Recent studies have shown that 82% of street children suffer from various stomach ailments. Needless to say, eating unhealthy foods is responsible for this disease. As well as being in a dirty environment, the rate of skin diseases is much higher among them, as there is no treatment system. Eighty-one percent of these floating children suffer from some form of skin disease. The prevalence of various infectious diseases among street children is also relatively high.
Many non-governmental organizations work with street children all over the country including Dhaka. Someone gives food. Someone gives clothes. Someone gives education. Someone also arranges for their entertainment. But at the end of the day they have to go back on their way. There is not much initiative to fully rehabilitate them. There are many private and private initiatives in the city for these street children. There are also some government initiatives. But no initiative is sustainable.