Saturday, October 21, 2006 (New Delhi):
Diwali is one day in the year when everyone, even street kids, get a chance to celebrate.
The festival of lights does brighten up even the most deprived of lives.
Diwali is the brightest day of the year and a day of celebration and joy for everyone.
Even for the street children who can take a break from begging and scavenging for leftovers, it is the one day of the year they can set aside their daily struggle and just light up their lives.
"We celebrate Diwali with much pomp. We do puja in our house and burst crackers in the evening," said a street child.
Despite a strict ban on child labour it is still rampant and children like Ajay are still forced to work long hours for petty earnings. But on Diwali he just wants to be a child and do what every child his age does.
"I work in a tea stall. I am 14 years old. On Diwali we have a lot of fun. We have Ganesh Laxmi Puja and eat a lot of sweets and burst lots of crackers in the evening," said Ajay, another street child.
Most of these street children have seen more trauma and struggle in their young lives than many adults. But Diwali is the day that gives them some moments of unburdened childhood.