Here is an insight into the life of a child living on the street
(Interview extracted from a magazine)
It would touch anybody who has a heart !!
What is your name ?
Where are you originally from ?
I have been lving in Delhi ever since I was born. But my parents are originally from lucknow who came to Delhi many years back.
Wher do you live now ?
I live on this footpath now
What do you do for a living ?
We ( my mother, aunt, five brothers and sisters) sort things in garbage bins and separate saleable items. Then we take them to the kabariwala(junk dealers) and get money in return. That is why we make our jhuggi (slum area) right next to the garbage bin.
Do you get enough food to eat ?
We eat whatever we find in the garbage bin. Sometimes, when we have money, mother buys something from the dhaba and we have a feast. We eat kachauries, sometimes roti, sometimes bread, whatever we get that day. I save my food and eat it throughout the day, whenever I feel hungry.
When’s your birthday? Is that day special ?
I don not know. We do not celebrate any day.
What do you like to do in your free time ?
I play with other children here. Sometimes we fo together to collect dry branches, then my mother cooks for us. If we get enough, my mother buys flour and makes fresh rotis for us. Sometimes we collect jamuns from the roadside trees and sell them.
When you are ill, who is with you?
We all stay together. So many people are here. If someone has fever, others do her work. What care needs to be taken? I just lie down inside the juggi and perhaps sleep as much as I can. I do not eat if I have fever. My mother says fever gets better faster if you fast
Do you know how to read and write ?
Would you like to study ?
I do not know. Who wll do my work if I go to school ? How will we earn?
What do you want to do when you grow up ?
I never thought of it. May be I ll get some job somewhere or I’ll continue working like this as my mother, my aunt are doing. I know nothing else.
Run us through a typical day in your life.
Everyday is more or less the same. I get up when the sun comes out. I clean the place. I wash my face. Then we all go to the garbage bin. We need to reach early so that others do not come before us and take away the better things. We make several trips and bring things with us and keep them near our home. Then throughout the day, we sort them. In the afternoon we take things to kabariwala to sell. Then we again wash ourselves and take rest and play. We eat in between if there is something to eat.
If you got three wishes, what would you wish for ?
I would wish that I always earn enough to feed myself
Do you believe in GOD? Do you think he exist?
Yes. We all pray to ALLAH
What do you dislike the most about life on the street ?
Sometimes, when there is strom or rain our thigs get spoilt. We cannot sell them. Sometimes other people steal our things. If possible, we fight with them but most of the times we do not get things back. The police also troubles us a lot. They abuseus and beat us. They call us thieves.
What is your idea of fun ?
Sometimes when I get something nice while sorting things in the garbage, I feel very happy. Sometimes, I find a doll, may be someone rejected it because it was slightly broken. Good for me. I love discovering such interesting things from garbage dump. At times we get some tasty food also. That is very rare, but its a treat.
Most of us keep crying for one reason or another. We crib about so many things – Why I don’t have this, why I don’t have that , Why it happened to me , Why cant I get that, why only me. We all forget what all has been given to us. Trust me friends, its all in the mind. If you start looking at the things you have got, you ll find yourself luckier than many others. Its all upto us. We can either cry for what all we don’t have or we can feel happy for what all we have.
” I was feeling bad for I had no shoes, until I saw a man who had no feet “
All of us working people can always spare 0.1% of our salary for such poor kids. We spend more than 100 Rs/10$ (just like that) over a weekend. If we all can just save that expenditure of one weekend and donate it , so many poor kids will be so happy. Just try feeding poor people yourself and you ll know what real happiness is. I have experienced it myself , thats why telling you guys. There is more happiness in giving than in taking. It seems so philosphical but try it once and you will know what I am talking about.
Hope we all can bring some happiness in the lives of these poor children. We all can make lot other lives BEAUTIFUL.