Rescued street children yearn to reunite with parents

  • sleeping on the sidewalk
- RASTRIYA SAMACHAR SAMITI, Kathmandu

Oct 6, 2018-

Until his rescue on Wednesday, street-child Dawa Magar survived each day on benevolent people’s charity. The 10-year-old boy from Gaighat, Udayapur district had made Chabahil, in northeast Kathmandu, his home.

Alerted by a local resident, the Metropolitan Police Circle, Gaushala, rescued the boy and transferred him to Children at Risk and Coordination Committee in Kathmandu.

Committee Chief Krishna Bahadur Rajbhandari said, “The boy is under our protection. The committee is searching for his family. If successful, we shall hand over the boy to his family. If not, we shall send him to child protection centre.”

The police do not know how Dawa separated from his parents. Recalling his daily ordeal on the streets of Kathmandu, Dawa said, “I survived on the small amount of money and some food given by pedestrians.”

The little boy frequently enquires with the Centre staff, ‘When am I going home?’ “My parents are daily wage earners,” is the only information he gave to the staff about his family.Metropolitan Police Circle, Bouddha, staff found nine-year-old Sabin Lama and his three-year-old brother Kushal near Chhahari Club in Kathmandu on October 2. The brothers, who hail from Dasarabasti, Kanchanpur, are currently in Bal Mandir, a Nepal Children’s Organisation, in Naxal. They too are desperate to reunite with their family.

Centre for Children at Risk Assistant Sub-Inspector Narayan K C said we are ascertaining who abandoned the boys on the street. We plan to release a public notice through the mass media to reach out to the boys’ parents.The Central Child Welfare Board on Thursday handed over a girl rescued from the street to her family. The Board’s Programme Co-ordinator Chitra Poudel said we handed over the girl with a caveat that the family should take good care of her.

These are only some representative cases of rescued children. Many children abandon their homes or get lost in Nepal. The number of children who are lost is higher than the number of children rescued.

Dysfunctional, uneducated, loveless families who deal with unemployment, financial hardships, domestic violence, alcohol abuse, marital infidelity, and either spouse eloping with a paramour inflict trauma on young children and expose them to high risk.

The Centre’s Deputy Superintendent of Police Krishna Bahadur Rajbhandari said, the number of young boys and older girls missing from financially-challenged homes is higher generally. Most abandoned children face horrifying levels of exploitation.

Out of the 511 children missing from mid-July to mid-September this year, 390 were girls. He said 208 missing children were found later. Girls are more vulnerable than boys. Fiscal year 2017-18 data shows 2,330 children (1,407 girls and 923 boys) missing in Nepal (Refer table). Officials found 1,017 missing children, according to reports. In the last fiscal year, 442 children were found in Kathmandu Valley. Currently, 167 children are in childcare home.

Although Nepal Constitution 2015 enshrines the fundamental right to life with equity, right against exploitation, right to education, health and proper care, young children continue to suffer on the streets or elsewhere in the absence of family love and care.

Published: 06-10-2018 07:05

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