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By Author: Namrata Joshi
Total Articles: 3
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Street and working children live in extremely tumultuous as well as insecure surroundings that take a toll on their well-being. There many factors of cultural as well as socio-economic set-up that affect the fate of millions of street children in India. There is an intense reasons that lead to their homeless situation - migration from rural to urban areas, extreme poverty, abuse, unemployment etc. These factors force children to run away from their homes or are abandoned due to irresponsible and inconsiderate adults around them. All this compels children to start fending for themselves because, somehow, living alone on the streets seems like a better idea than living at home with their families.

Child Labour
To be able to find their ‘next meal’ every day, children on the street work in dire conditions where they are required to work for long hours with minimal wages. The conditions are not fit for adults, leave children, and are often hazardous to their health - extreme pollution, heat or toxic substances etc.

Mental Health
In most cases, runaway children suffer from extreme mental, physical and/or emotional abuse and are often shaken, suppressed or numb from those experiences. Coupled with that, there is a lot of abuse, fear, uncertainty that the street-life brings to children, which makes matters worse.

Substance Use
To handle the aforementioned mental health that is mostly deteriorating, children resort to unhealthy life practices that include drugs, alcohol etc. This makes matters worse as they become dependant on these toxic substances that compel them to ‘do whatever it takes’ to find their next high.

Illegal Activities
To serve their addictions, and to function in extreme poverty and loneliness, children on the streets move further away from moral grounds. From partaking in illegal activities to joining small-time or well-established gangs, children are easily swayed and often used for vested interests.

To begin fixing these issues, street children must be given quality education by enrolling them in proper schools. It is also important to support organisations that have been relentlessly working on this social cause - Salaam Baalak Trust being the front-runner. The NGO also accepts donations for children’s medical aid and ensures they receive the best of services for an all-round recovery.

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