I took this picture from Ocean city in Chittagong. Working on roads is very difficult because there are kids who are roaming everywhere and asking money from everyone. This boy is carrying his brother on his shoulder and asking people to give money or food for his brother. He is telling that he and his brother did not eat anything for two days only they had water. I got shocked after I heard the news of that boy. I had 20 taka in my hands and gave it to him. At that moment he was so happy and from the shop I saw he was buying “rasagulla” (a kind of sweet). After that he gave it to his brother. I want to say that even though the government is not helping these kids, the people can help, but in Chittagong I have never seen people helping them. Don’t you want to help them?
In this world everyone has problems. At least they have one problem, it disappoints and saddens them. In my life, I have met a great woman who was divorced by her husband. Her name is Anu and she is a journalist. She lives in my village near to my house. When I was 17 years old, Anu married a boy who was abroad for five years. His name was Nimal and born in Hambanthota which is near to my village in Sri Lanka. Anu was 23 years old and he was 31. Anu has two sisters and a brother, and her parents were employed. Nimal has a sister and mother. He went abroad after his secondary studies to earn money for his family.
Anu’s wedding was held in a big hotel, named Water Garden, situated in Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka. The wedding was held on 2004, December 03. Ohh!! I cannot believe that the wedding was held so grandly. After the wedding ceremony, they went to the bride’s home. At that time Anu’s husband Nimal was very good, his way of talking and his caring mentality showed ever one that Anu is going to live very happily. On March 28, 2005, Nimal had to go abroad to continue his job and to earn money for their bright future. He told Anu and her family that he will finish all his work in abroad and come back soon after two months. Anu and her family believed him and they all went to the airport to send Nimal off.
After two months, Nimal did not come back to Sri Lanka. He phoned Anu and started to fight with her, but there was no specific reason for this fighting and scolding. Nimal every time asked his mother for advices and started to argue with Anu about her family. He did not come to home, but he stayed there for another 2 years. Everyday Anu and her mother cried and Anu was thinking about her future life. One day, Anu went to stay at Nimal’s home. Nimal’s mother and his sister got very angry with her, but anu talked with them very nicely and calmly. After, at night Anu cried and phoned her mother and told her about the mother-in-laws behaviors. Then, her mother got upset and next day she went to take Anu. Nimal phoned Anu and abused everyone in her family without any reason. He said he will come in 2007 march and divorce her. Hearing this news, Anu got shocked.
In 2007 March 5, Nimal came back from abroad, but he did not go to anu’s home. He went to his home and phoned Anu and told her to come there. Then, next day anu and her family went to Nimal’s home. Nimal welcomed everyone and showed what he had brought from abroad. However, he had not brought a single thing for his wife, Anu. After Anu’s mother asked about that he said next month he is going to divorce anu and going to marry another girl from his home town. Next month in the court, they met each other and got divorced. Nimal was very happy and he married another poor girl. However, Anu, she did not marry anyone. She did her job and she told her family that she will never marry again. She had strong confidence on herself and believed that she can manage everything by herself. At that moment, I thought she was a great woman in this world for me and since then I have always appreciated her.
“What does not kill you makes you stronger”
Note:Every character and place in this story has been change for safty.
As a student of the Access Academy in Chittagong, Bangladesh I chose to study blogshop and now I am interested in it. My blog is about street children in Bangladesh and the title is “Without any Assistance”. Whenever I go outside, I can see many street children are roaming in Chittagong in the evening. Every day before my class start I have to post 3 news about my topic. As you all know that I am posting photos of kids that I took and small description of it. My class is going to finish this April and after that I do not have class. However, I am going to continue my blog by posting about the same topic which is street children. Overall, I hope that I will continue as much as I can and eager to see all of your comments as well as suggestions.
My previous posts are interviews that were given by my friends from different countries. In our university there are many cute teachers who come from western countries such as America, Australia, and Canada. I thought to interview one teacher from each country. So, I interviewed Ms. Nicole Gruel who comes from Australia. I asked her about street children in Bangladesh, what she thinks about it, how it different from her country, and what can be done for them. Here is her opinion about the street children;
“Nothing can prepare you for the poverty and desperate situation of the street children in Bangladesh. In a country with bountiful natural resources, the poverty of the people is striking. Walking along the street and being haggled by a group of street children is one of the most depressing experiences, especially as a teacher who has seen that an education, however minimal, can change a child’s life. I come from Australia, where young children have the freedom to play, not work, and to learn, not beg. The contrast is stark and it is difficult to accept that such differences can exist on one planet. Ideally, the government could provide free primary and secondary education to all in Bangladesh. For vulnerable children who live on the street, shelters could be provided for them and their families. Theses facilities should have health services and training opportunities for parents so that they may develop skills for the workplace. I think that a holistic and long-term approach is needed to solve this issue.”
Ms. Nicole explained her thoughts very shortly, but full of important ideas. As Ms. Nicole says the government can help these kids. Yes I also support with her, but I do not know why this government is not paying attention on them, also it is only the government, who can solve this issue.
You can see in my previous posts that they are some interviews which I took from my friends from different countries. This is another interview which was given by Rozy from Nepal and she replied me about the street children like this way; “Not everyone in this world get an opportunity to fulfill their basic needs. At the time when half of the world is enjoying three meals a day, the other half is struggling to get even a single meal per day. This is the situation of street children in all parts of the world. The condition is even worse in the developing nations like Nepal and Bangladesh. Street children are not only deprived of basic needs, but also suffer from mental and physical affliction. People view them as the burden of the society.”
“When I came to Bangladesh I felt the situation of street children is even worse. During the day time, they hunt for the food in the garbage. They beg for money and during night time they sleep with half- stomach full on a bare ground. Every body remains indifferent towards the street children. If the people and the government remain complacent about the street children, the percentage of unproductive population will rise which will ultimately affect country’s economy. The government should allocate budget for the street children to provide them basic needs. This will uplift the status of street children. Moreover, as a responsible citizen, we should give them love , affection and respect. If the world comes together, we will be able to overcome the problem of street children.” As Rozy said if this world comes together and if every one loves each other and cares each other we will be soon able to eliminate this problem of street children.
This interview given by my Sri Lankan friend Mahilini. When I asked her about street children she gave me a lot of information on this matter. Here is her opinion about street children in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. “On the matter of street children in developing countries face a lot of problems. Considering the two developing Asian countries Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, both countries have a significant number of street children, and the number is increasing as population is rising. Moreover, while I talking with the street children of both countries, most of them said that they have to manage their own expenses, and some of them said that they are bound to earn to look after their families. Further, as the number of street children in Sri Lanka are less than in Bangladesh. Sri Lankan street children are more predisposed to get good living conditions and, some basic things such as three time meals, clean drinking water and clothes than Bangladesh street children.”
“ Even though many similarities and differences are among Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan street children, their lives should be improved and considered by the both governments as every child is special in the world.” What Mahilini said was correct because I am also from Sri Lanka and I have seen street children in my area. Like Mahilini I also get a sad feeling in my mind when I see kids roam around in Bangladesh without any facilities or helping hand.
I interviewed my friend Aswathy who is from India. I asked her about the street children in Bangladesh, what she thinks about this issue and what the solutions are. Then she answered me like this; street children are not specified to a nation and also it never distinguishes developed or developing. However, the ratio is more in developing countries than developed ones. India, a developing country, is also having street children. Being an Indian I can mention what I know about my country. We can see children running in between the traffic and begging people for cashes. I have also seen people shuttering their glasses of cars or other vehicles when they see these poor children approaching them. Other drivers, like rickshaw drivers and bikers, just scold them away. I thought that it’s really shameful and I was thinking how my country can be uplifted. How can these poor children be saved, how can they also be provided a seat among me or my younger sister in classes, I found it really difficult to do it. But, yes, India can do it and we can protect and give comfort to all these children.
Lately, I understood this when I came to Bangladesh. Here also, street children are everywhere, not allowing us to walk freely, asking for money and food. They just keep following us by saying, “Appu ek taka, bhath kayi naye…,” this may not be correct because this is only what I, a foreigner, catch up when they speak. And this means “sister 1 taka, have not eaten rice”. It really melts our hearts, but we are students who rely on others for our survival itself. Still, we don’t feel like walking away without giving anything. But then the question arrives, “How long can we give?” what I think is no one individually can answer this question. If we look at people from different aspects of life, we can see that most of them in Bangladesh are high class, and the rest are low class, these poor people. The number of middle class families is less comparing to other countries, for me especially with India. Here, on the streets we can see really rich people and begging children and families, which are almost the same proportion. I think the best solution will a “re-income distribution”, I know it’s not as easy as I write about it, and that’s why at the beginning I said that we individually cannot solve or answer this problem. Start from a really small thing, like, first recording how the income is allocated among the people, and then make a strategy of wealth. Those who have more wealth than that approach can be asked to donate money. Every ones contribution is needed to make the world better; each country should contribute, every society from each country, each family from every society, and each person from each family. When Aswathy tells this I saw her face become serious. Yes, as she mentions that we have to collect money from rich people and distribute to these street children.
I interviewed my friend meta who comes from Cambodia. I asked her thoughts about street children in Bangladesh. She says, 40% of the total population is under malnutrition. I knew and always thought tha my country has a lot street children as I used to see them every day on the road almost everywhere. When I came to study in Chittagong, Bangladesh I found that there are even more street children than my country. of course, this is not good for me. Every time that I go out some where, I see gangly children with dirty clothes roaming around the city of Bangladesh. If nothing is done to dicrease the street children rate in Bangladesh, then more and more of them will drown the whole country before global warming is about to.Meta’s thoughts are really fantastic. You can think how much street children have in Bangladesh compare with other country like Cambodia.
I thought to interview some of my friends in my university about the street children in Bangladesh. Therefore, I interviewed Nur-E-Habiba who is from Dhaka which is the capital city of Bangladesh. She said that street children are a big portion of the population of Bangladesh as they are very common everywhere. The main reason to have a lot a lot of street children is the over population. Comparing to the size of population, there are very few accommodation. Therefore, many people have to choose their shelter in streets. Most of the street children are deprived of food and nutritioun, clothing, a healthy living place, education as well as medical facilities. Besides, they do not have love and affection. Unhygien and malnutrition are the common problems to them. Seasonal change adds new problem to their lives. They have to suffer in numerous ways during summer, rain or winter.
Government should give priority to improve the conditions of street children. There should be a fixed amount of our national budget only for the welfare of street children. NGO’s also should come forward to help the government so that they could ensure the street children’s shelter, nutrition, education and other basic needs. To sum up, if we all become helpful, the street children could participate in the development of our country!
According to Habiba, I think she has better solutions to reduce the street kids. In my view, if the government take immediate action, then we can survive these kids in Bangladesh.