Charity helping Mumbai street children to work with UNICEF

Charity helping Mumbai street children to work with UNICEF
6 Jul, 2008, 1108 hrs IST, PTI

LONDON: A charity engaged in improving the lives of street children in Mumbai has been chosen to work with the UNICEF in India and Vietnam for developing such kids’ life skills through the medium of sports.

The charity ‘Magic Bus’ and UNICEF plan to set up several pilot projects in various Indian states and train sports instructors and school teachers, the organisation’s Founder and Chairman, Matthew Spacie, MBE, said.

To start with, the programme would be extended to Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and rural Maharashtra with the "ultimate aim of involving 100,000 street children," Spacie, who quit Cox & Kings as its Chief Operating Officer in India to set up the charity in 1999, told PTI.

UK Sport, British government’s international sports agency, is also supporting the work of Magic Bus.

After winning the bid in Singapore to host the 2012 Olympics in London, the UK government had pledged to help develop sports in five countries and one of them is India.

"As a result, Magic Bus has been chosen to work with UNICEF in India to expand Magic Bus’ internationally renowned programme across the country," Spacie said.

The Greater Mumbai Corporation has also chosen Magic Bus to train teachers. "We plan to train 12 master trainers in each city who in turn will train 200 trainers every year. Many of the master trainers are selected by us and the government."

Magic Bus is implementing a sports project in Chattisgarh also with UNICEF’s assistance. "At the international level, we are coaching master trainers in Vietnam," Spacie said.

"Harnessing the power of sport to build self esteem, confidence and vital life skills, Magic Bus works in India to change the lives of children living on the streets and slums of Mumbai – children involved in drugs, children in red light district, orphans and rescued labourers."


Jail for giving to beggars…

Jail for giving to beggars…

    July 04 2008 at 08:37AM

Jakarta – People in an Indonesian city who give in to the tug of charity could face three months in jail under a law making it illegal to give money to beggars and street children.

The law, approved in June by the legislative council in Makassar, South Sulawesi, is meant to reduce the city’s swelling population of beggars, Mayor Ilham Arif Sirajuddin said.

"Under the law, people who give money to beggars will be jailed up to three months or have to pay a maximum fine of 1.5-million rupiah (about R1800)," he said. "This is an important decision to clear beggars from the streets."

Beggars and street children face three years in jail or fines up to five-million rupiah but the crackdown has come along with a programme to train beggars for work.

The population of beggars and street children in Makassar jumped from 870 in 2006 to 2600 in 2008, the mayor said. – Sapa-AFP

City faces alarming rise in addicts, juvenile beggars

City faces alarming rise in addicts, juvenile beggars

By SHAFI BALOCH July 3, 2008

KARACHI – Owing to the rampant unemployment of their parents due to off-fishing season, a number of fishermen’s children have started involving in begging and drug trafficking and this trend has resulted in a sharp rise in the number street children making their percentage up to 40 % in the metropolitan, said the President of Initiator Human Development Foundation (IHDF), Asif Rana Habib, while talking to The Nation here on Thursday.Rana said the unavailability of any alternative profession has led the minor boys to earn their bread by begging during the off-fishing season.He further revealed that condition of street children is worse that that of the refugees or prisoners in the country and there is no official record maintained by the government.He added that most of the street children living in all of the sixty katchchi abadies, including Machchar Colony, Butta Colony, Bangali Para, Teen Hatty, Ibrahim Hydri, Hundred Quarters of Orangi Town, Bilal Colony and others. There are around hundred hotels in the city where such children are seen waiting for someone to provide them food, he said.Rana strongly criticised the role of NGOs and said that there are fifteen centres set up for the rehabilitation of such children obtaining millions of rupees from the international donor agencies but they have failed to control the situation.He said that due to the negligence on the part of the government, such children are being exploited by different mafias, who use them for begging, drug trafficking and other illegal activities.Rana said that ninety percent of street children are users of different intoxicated items in which 74 per cent use glue and heroin. Another 43 per cent of the drug-user children are of ages under fifteen. He mentioned the several children have, so far, died while using these drugs.“Similarly, the children are also being used for drug peddling and are severely punished and sexually abused in case they refuse to do so”, he said.Rana lamented that there was no law for the rehabilitation of such children in Sindh while the Punjab government has taken the initiative to introduce a law in this regard. He said that rehabilitation centres have been set up for street children in twelve districts of Punjab but no initiative has been taken in Sindh so far. He said the recommendations in this regard had been given to the previous Sindh Chief Minister but he refused to legalise the matter.He also said that due to increase in the street children the street crime rate is on the rise day by day as a number of children are getting involved in drug trafficking and addiction in the city. He further said that more than 15,000 street children in Karachi alone are being used for sexual abuse.

Senate Body urges to protect “street Children” of the country

Senate Body urges to protect "street Children" of the country

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee has urged upon the Government to accord priority to the social sector of the society by improving the lot of the downtrodden, weak and vulnerable segments of society particularly women and children.

The Senate standing Committee met here on Monday in the Parliament House in the heading of Senator Mir Mohammad Naseer Mengal and stressed on a passionate plea for protecting the 1,50,000 ’street children’ all over the country as uncertainty related to their future stares them in the face.

The committee further directed the Ministry of Social Welfare to conduct a country wide survey for assessing the actual number of street children and later create arrangements for bringing them in to the Child Protections Center (CPC) for their comprehensive education and well being, so as to enable them to earn a decent living in future.

The Senate Committee further proposed to establish (CPC) in the four provinces of the country as the only one National Child Protection Center (CPC) working in Islamabad was insufficient to protect the ’street children’ of all over the country, as "these children were the future of the country and we cannot afford to neglect them".

The Committee further directed the Ministry to set up special counters in all District Headquarters Hospitals (DHQs) to facilitate the poor deserving patients with serious diseases by arranging free medicines, blood artificial limbs, clinical tests, etc and termed the present prevailing procedure of verification of data for such patients as being cumbersome and directed to simplified the system to get Zakat / Bait-ul-Mal funds swiftly.

The Senate body also took notice of the mismanagement and impropriety at the Tawana Pakistan Project (TPP) and constituted a sub committee to conduct a through probe into the matter.

Senators Shuja-ul-Mulk, Semeen Siddiqui, Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Muhammad Anwar Baig, Khalid Soomro and Kulsoom Parveen besides Secretary Ministry of social Welfare attended the meeting.

Challenging task of birth registration

Many street children are ignorant about their birth, even their parents cannot say the date

Munna is bubbling with joy as he has got his birth certificate, although he is not quite sure what the certificate is actually meant for.

It was totally unexpected to the 11-year-old boy who does not have a permanent home or address. He earns his living by picking vegetables at the Karwan Bazar wholesale market and selling them to small traders at the kitchen market.

“This is the first important document of my life. I heard that it is extremely valuable and it will help me in future,” said Munna about his latest possession — his birth certificate.

Sharmin, another lucky girl of the same age, however, knows exactly why it is so important. “It will protect me in many difficult situations such as child marriage or trafficking,” said Sharmin who lives in Bashpotti slum in Tejgaon.

Arafat, a floating child labour at Karwan Bazar who also received a birth certificate, said this would be helpful if he ever wanted to get a driving licence. His dream however is to become a singer by participating in the Close-up 1 or Channel-I singing competition.

Like Munna, Sharmin and Arafat, around four lakh street children of the city are getting their birth certificates under a special initiative taken by Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) in cooperation with UNICEF, Plan Bangladesh and 11 other partner organisations.

Colonel Dr Md Showkat Ali, chief health officer of DCC, said the project began in last March and they have completed data entry of about 20,000 children. So far around 10,000 street children have received their birth certificates.

“Those who have conscious parents get their birth certificate easily. But these less fortunate street children are being left out as they do not have anyone to take care of it. Our aim is to include the hard-to-reach children in the system,” said Col Showkat.

The official informed that according to Births and Deaths Registration Act 2006, street children without parents or floating children without any address cannot be denied a birth certificate because of their social status.

Under the law parents are required to register the birth of their babies within 45 days.

SM Abdul Quader, project manager (birth registration) of Plan Bangladesh, explained its importance. “Without birth certificate it becomes extremely difficult to address child rights issues. Street children and child labourers are especially vulnerable,” he said.

“For children, birth certificate is a protection tool in case of child trafficking, child marriage and commercial sexual exploitation as it works as a proof of age,” he added.

“It gives them nationality and an identity. Most importantly it is the first bond between a child and the state. With its help children can demand their rights to the state.”

Field level workers of the project working closely with the street children said that collecting information about street children is extremely challenging.

“Most of the street children without parents or lost children who ended up on the streets do not know anything about their age or the place they were born. The runaway kids usually refrain from giving the right information,” pointed out Ashrafun Nahar Rainy, in-charge, Drop-in-Centre of Assistance for Slum Dwellers, one of the partner NGOs.

“Many street children who have parents are also ignorant about their birth year or date. Even their parents do not know anything. It becomes quite hard for us to gather information when the situation is like this,” she added.

Rainy also mentioned that often it becomes difficult to gain their trust in the first place. These children move from one place to another, making it hard to trace them. Unwanted newborns and lost toddlers found in the streets are the most challenging to work with.

There are certain provisions and guidelines in the Births and Deaths Registration Act 2006 regarding how information can be gathered about these children and how they can get their certificate.

Several discussion sessions are usually held with the children or with their parents to find out a significant event of the period they were born.

“It could be a flood, cyclone, election or even a football match. This is how we search for a possible age or birth month,” said Rainy.

The act also has provisions that in the case of parentless street children, officer-in-charge of local police station can apply on their behalf.

Birth registration has been made mandatory to get 16 basic services for every citizen.

A birth certificate serves as a proof of nationality and legal age verification document.

The Births and Deaths Registration Act requires a birth certificate to be used as proof of age for a number of essential services such as appointment in government, non-government and autonomous bodies, issuance of passport, driving licence, enrolment in voters’ list, land registration, trade licence, marriage registration etc.

The government has set a target to register births of every citizen (adult and newborn) by December 2008 and announced birth registrations free of charge from February 2007 to 31 December 2008. In the beginning the date was 2 July 2008.

Philanthropists urged to sustain foreign donor driven schemes for kids

 Philanthropists urged to sustain foreign donor driven schemes for kids
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Karachi: Specific priorities and policies of foreign donor agencies has jeopardised sustainability of no less than five different Drop in Centres (DICs) for street children, scattered in less privileged areas of Karachi.

This was highlighted at a session organised by Pakistan Voluntary Health and Nutrition Association (PAVHNA), a consortium of small community-based organisations (CBOs), actively engaged in rehabilitation of child labourers and street children.

Participants of the event comprising activists, representatives of donors and street children themselves were unanimous that local philanthropists, corporate sector and group of citizens sensitized enough about the plight of the vulnerable children, need to move in and support the critically needed facility.

They registered with deep concern that Karachi with no less than 17,000 street children is yet to have any government support system to protect them against their susceptibility to all kinds of violence and all sorts of abuse.

Activists said these kids were highly vulnerable to all forms of abuse, including sexual exploitation and addiction, therefore at high risk to contract HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B and C coupled with several other serious infections.

The scenario enhances urgency to see that efforts made to inculcate safe living skill through DICs are sustained on long-term basis.

Rehana Rashidi, Programme Director of PAVHNA, expressed her gratitude to Global Fund for Elimination of AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria (GFATM) and National AIDS Control Programme for their four year support for the project.

“At current point of time it is extremely difficult to communicate to the children that centres have to be closed in next three months time,” she said.

The project named as “Kirnay” that carved a niche for itself provided marginalised children, be they the scavengers, help at auto-workshops, street urchin, waiters at road side shops and hotels, apprentice at crafts centres etc, an opportunity to resume education, be conscious of their vulnerability and skills to protect against abuse, relevance of health and hygiene and healthy recreational opportunities.

“A positive change has been noticed in many of them showing improvement in decision-making such as change in profession, quitting drugs, developing healthy relations with family and friends and taking care of their health,” said Rehana Rashidi referring to frequent auditing of the project, initiated by third parties.

KIRNAY Project Manager, Anjum Shaikh, said an increased assertiveness regarding their rights by refusing abusers and demanding respect from others was quite visible and reflected revival of self-respect and self-esteem among the kids visiting DICs.

Anjum said the goal of KIRNAY project was and continues to be prevention of HIV from becoming concentrated epidemic in vulnerable population and spreading to general adult population.

These drop in centres were said to be functional in North Karachi, New Karachi, Landhi, Korangi and Malir.

Anjum Shaikh appealed to all the people to come forward and adopt these centres. She said the minimum cost of running each of these centres was estimated to be approximately Rs.150,000.

“Each of these centres cater around 3,000 children bringing the annual cost of saving a young life to a mere Rs 600,” she said.

The Project Manager said the number of indirect beneficiaries of these centres were atleast triple the actual beneficiaries.

Dr Huma Qureishi, GFATM’s Senior Programme Officer, to Pakistan urged the local philanthropists to help the kids in need of heir support.

She said that similar projects, owing to its success in Karachi, was planned to be replicated in Lahore and then at Multan with the support of Punjab AIDS Control Programme.

Chairman, Panjwani Trust and former provincial Minister for Women Development, Nadira Panjwani said committed NGOs as PAVHNA, working at grass root levels needed to be supported on strong grounds.

“Children be they the street kids or abandoned souls or those pushed before harsh realities of life due to poverty are our collective responsibility,” she said.

On the occasion children visiting different DICs managed by PAVHNA, little conscious about the fate of these facilities, narrated their personal experience and also attempted to entertain the guests through skits, qawwalis and tableau.

Handicrafts made by these kids were also on sale at the venue. A documentary film about the project was also screened on the occasion.

SPARC call for strict implementation of laws banning child labour

SPARC call for strict implementation of laws banning child labour
PESHAWAR, June 27 (APP): Regional Manager Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC), Jahanzeb Khan has said that the protection of children act 2005 should be passed by the National Assembly and enforced by the Federal and Provincial assemblies for the protection of street children He said that the NWFP Destitute and Neglected Children Act 2007 should be passed from the Provincial Assembly besides ensuring free compulsory and quality education to the children. Briefing media men here on Friday, Jahanzeb Khan demanded that a network of well maintained temporary and permanent shelter homes should be established through out the country and a strong referral system be developed at national, provincial and district level.

Regional Manager SPARC said that reunification services should be streamlined for the lost and runaway children besides strictly enforcing ILO worst forms of convention 182.

He said that coordination and cooperation with media should be strengthened to meet the desired objectives apart from properly highlighting the issue.

Ijaz Khan Protection Manager said that children on street are facing several protection risks like sexual abuse, drug addiction, and commercial and sexual exploitation.

Imran Takkar Project Coordinator Street children said that SPARC has established a Drop in Center for street children in October 2006 near General Bus Stand with an objective to provide free and protected environment from all kind of abuse and exploitation.

Mr. Takkar added that around 75 runaway children were reunified with their families after giving them psycho social counseling in Drop in Center.

Besides reunification, street children are being provided facilities of education, recreational facilities, skills and information about their rights and protection from abuse and exploitation.

Till date above 300 children had befitted from the Center, while daily average 30 to 35 street children visit the Center and are being provided the facilities of education, recreation, psycho social counseling and life skills, he added.

Educating street children

Point Counterpoint

STREET children constitute one of the most vulnerable and marginal groups in Bangladesh. "Street children" are essentially the boys and girls for whom the streets, unoccupied dwellings, wastelands etc., have become homes and/or sources of livelihood, and who are inadequately protected or supervised by responsible adults.

Government statistics, based on a survey by the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, estimate the number of street children in Bangladesh to be around 380,000 — of whom 55% are in Dhaka city. A little less than half of them (49.2%) are of the age group < 10 years, while the remaining fall in the age group of 11-19 years. Their gender composition is as follows: boys 74.3%, while girls account for 25.7%. The above report estimates that by 2014 the number of such children would exceed 930,000.

The major problems of street children are: Insecure life; physical and sexual abuse by adults of the immediate community; harassment by law enforcing agencies; no, or inadequate, access to educational institutions and healthcare facilities; and lack of decent employment opportunity.

The role of appropriate education for empowerment of children — especially the disadvantaged groups like the street or working children — has been unequivocally established. Article 17 of the Constitution of Bangladesh recognises the right to education for all — including the disadvantaged children.

The National Plan of Action for Children (2005-2010) also clearly emphasises the urgent need for "education and empowerment." Along the same vein, the National Poverty Reduction Strategy of the country provides for education as a means of "empowerment of disadvantaged groups" — including children.

Notwithstanding the above official rhetoric, and despite a growing recognition of their vulnerability and disadvantaged status, there have been strikingly limited efforts to improve the condition of street children — especially by providing them with appropriate basic education. It will not be an exaggeration to note that this section of our society has largely remained outside the main ambit of developmental interventions.

Much to the relief of all those who want, and aspire, to see a better future for our street children, there have been a few encouraging, albeit limited, efforts to educate them through Open Air Schools (OAS). These schools are managed and administered by a number of national NGOs, mainly in metropolitan cities.

The schools are strategically located, covering the city-entry points and/or working places for street children, such as railway, launch and bus terminals, market places on riverbanks, busy city markets, parks, etc. The street school spots are typically acquired (often free of cost) from the community or relevant public authorities.

A typical school functions for two to three hours everyday for up to six days a week. School operating hours are decided so that they do not interfere with the working hours of the children. Prior to commencement of classes, the concerned staff (development workers, teachers) walk around the neighbouring area to identify newly arrived children and to invite regular children to classes.

The learning materials predominantly focus on various life skills related topics. To cite a typical example, the schools run by the NGO Aparajeyo Bangladesh use an open learning package that includes the following topics: Life skills, child rights, child labour, protection from sexual abuse and exploitation (including trafficking), creating dreams, keeping safe on the streets, dealing with the police, and HIV/AIDS/STI prevention. The idea is to create an educational foundation amongst the targeted children by blending pedagogical and practical life skills.

Based on my recent experience and interactions with a number of such schools (and the key stakeholders including school staff, children, representatives of the surrounding local communities), a number of problems can be identified regarding the contents and conduct of the life skills training and capacity development sessions imparted in the schools:

The mixed age groups of children make it difficult for the educators to respond to age-specific needs, maturity and queries. For very minor children (aged 6 to 10), for example, sessions on fairly technical topics (e.g. sexual abuse, arsenic contamination, legal issues of child trafficking) are not easily comprehensible.

The time of the training (2 to 3 hours including the time for rapport building) is considered insufficient by most educators.

Some terminologies and technical jargons used in the training sessions are not easily amenable to children’s understanding.

The schools run on bare minimum logistics and facilities, and lack any protection from weather fluctuations in the rainy and winter seasons.

As the children hail from varied geographical locations and cultures, some staff noted that diversity and variations in language (including accents and dialects) sometimes make uniform conduct of training sessions difficult.

Some training materials are not in adequate supply. Use of audio-visual materials is strikingly limited.

In the OAS, ensuring and maintaining regular presence of the children, who often tend to be highly mobile and restless, is a huge challenge.

Although most educators/trainers have basic relevant training (to a varying degree), advanced training on teaching techniques and tools is clearly inadequate.

It may be relevant at this point to think about and furnish some clues on improving the effectiveness of the OAS campaign. Some such ideas include the following:

The training topics, session time, and contents need to be reviewed and analysed by appropriately qualified experts and practitioners in order to make them more consistent, comprehensible and adaptive to the specific age and intellectual development of the targeted children and the local context.

To ensure "age-content compatibility," some educators and trainers opined that the children may be divided into two groups — up to 11 years of age, and 12 years and above.

The logistical requirements of the OAS should be reviewed.

A need assessment for all teachers and trainers should be carried out, and further training such as advanced training on teaching techniques (preferably tailor-made to the street children) and training of trainers may be considered.

The contents and mode of delivery of various training and capacity development initiatives should more clearly focus on (and lean towards) a "right-based approach" as distinct from mere philanthropic orientations.

As far as possible, the training contents and literature should use visual and pictorial materials as well as physical demonstrations, where applicable. Other experimental models of training and learning may provide valuable lessons in this regard. (The relevant materials developed by such institutions as CMES, Breaking the Silence, Fulki-Chittagong etc. may be consulted in this regard).

Along the same vein, the training methodologies used in these schools need to be reviewed by appropriately qualified experts. Emphasis may be given to use of learning by doing, mock sessions, and various illustrative tools.

concerned staff should have systematic and regular consultations with the targeted children and community people before designing and/or implementing any training scheme, especially about its contents, time and location.

Female children should be given preference, or at least equal opportunity, in availing various skills development training.

The salience and topicality of education as a means of broad-based empowerment are now unequivocally established, both amongst the academics and the development practitioners. This observation is especially relevant for the street children as one of the most disadvantaged and marginal sections of the society. The OAS campaign, despite all the limitations, does offer some rays of hope. This interesting initiative deserves immediate attention from our policy planners, academics, and development practitioners.

Dr. Niaz Ahmed Khan is Professor of Development Studies at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh and Honourary Research Fellow, Centre for Development Studies, University of Wales, UK. He can be contacted at:

When theatre teaches lessons from life

When theatre teaches lessons from life
June 23rd, 2008

By Vidhu Aggarwal
New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) Bedraggled boys hawking magazines and trinkets at traffic crossings in the national capital would irritate nine-year-old Saumitra Khuller to no end. He never thought he would some day re-enact their lives on stage. Today, Khuller, a class four student of Delhi Public School, Vasant Vihar, has a totally different insight – thanks to a theatre workshop he attended and where he reprised the role of a street child who begs for a livelihood.

His love for acting made him join a workshop for children in the 9-14 age group conducted by noted theatre director Arvind Gaur at the India Habitat Centre. The 10-day-long event earlier this month opened his eyes to the trials and tribulations of street children.

“I used to get irritated when they used to run after my car – but not any more,” Khuller told IANS.

He said the workshop, organised by NGO Katha, gave him a deep insight into the lives of street children. At its conclusion, Khuller along with 20 children from well-to-do families enacted the play “Ansuni” (Those whose voices are unheeded) that was actually three playlets.

One depicted the manner in which a schoolteacher inspires a gang of street children to focus on educating themselves. The other highlighted the life of leprosy patients and the third was about a woman caught in a communal riot.

“I think everyone should help street children. No one should tease them or think bad about them just because they are illiterate and poor. They want to study but they are unable to. They just need a helping hand,” said Khuller, sounding wiser than his tender years.

During the workshop, he also realised that most of these children are runaways, mostly because their parents either ill-treated or physically abused them.

“Now whenever I see these street children, I feel sympathetic towards them. I think the government should help them by providing them with education and preventing them from taking drugs,” the young lad maintained.

“Every school should take up the education of some of these children,” Khuller said, pointing to the message of “Ansuni”.

Another student whose perception has completely changed after the workshop is Sanjana Navani, an 11-year-old who essayed the role of a Muslim woman fighting for justice after her life is changed forever by a communal riot.

For the Sardar Patel Vidayalaya girl, who was praised for her immense talent, a communal riot previously meant just a skirmish.

“I had heard about communal riots but was unaware of their real meaning. I was surprised when we were told that the clashes are so horrible that people are tortured and even burnt and buses and other vehicles are set on fire,” she added.

The class six student was so horrified when she realised what a communal riot actually meant that she said she would not watch anything related to it on TV.

On another level, Navani said she would “try to convince people that such things are wrong”.

For director Gaur, teaching the children the little nuances of theatre was a great experience and he felt that those who attended were at the right age to build confidence, team spirit and remove stage fright.

“Young children were chosen for the workshop because they don’t have apprehensions. By familiarising children with the life of street children, communal riots and leprosy, an understanding and acceptance was created that street children are not children of a lesser god,” Gaur maintained.

“Initially, it was very sad to discover that though these children go to reputed public schools, their sensitivity about such issues was zero as they had very skewered views about street children,” said Gaur, who heads the theatre group “Asmita”.

“Issues like communal riots and leprosy are very old and children should be acquainted with them. So, I decided that we could educate these children through theatre,” he added.

To go by his student’s responses, Gaur succeeded to a considerable extent in achieving what he set out to do.

Khulna street children turning into criminals’ accomplice

A large number of street boys in Khulna city and nine upazilas of the district have got involved in different types of crime as criminals use them as convenient accomplices.

The number of street children in the district has risen to over 50,000 this year from 41,000 last year and many of them are involved in crimes, says a report jointly prepared by UNICEF and non-government organisation Aparajeo Bangladesh.

Poverty and wayward life of their parents, loss of shelters due to natural calamities such as floods and cyclone, drug addiction, bigamy or polygamy of parents and missing during journey from one place to another are among the factors that are responsible for a large number of street boys’ get involved in crimes, says the report.

NGO Aparajeo Bangladesh, which works for welfare of the disadvantaged children, has undertaken a project styled ‘Protection of children at risk’.

Funded by UNICEF, this project under supervision of the Ministry of Social Welfare is mainly aimed at bringing the deviated children to the right path and normal life by providing them with necessary supports to build up their career, said Project Manager Shikder Hadiuzzaman Bony.

Aparajeo Bangladesh is implementing the project, he said.

Many of these hapless street boys are being picked up by criminals for keeping arms, throwing bombs at targets, selling drugs and pilferage of food grains for small amount of money, the project manager quoted the survey report as saying.