The Future is Begging!

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"How do you even fall asleep here?""

"We have to, this is the only place we have."

This was a quick conversation between myself and the siblings you can see in the picture.These 2 beg all day in the Metropolitan of Karachi and then sleep by any roadside, at night.

Pakistan is the 34th largest country in the World with over 200 million population, with a median age of 22.7 years. It is also the only Muslim majority country to have Nuclear Weapons. These statistics would certainly construct an image that Pakistan would be on the way to success with it's vast land, young population and assets like the Nuclear. But it is estimated that 1.5 million children in Pakistan beg on streets and have to sleep on the same. Most of them being between 2 and 10 years of age.

Children begging on Pakistani street has now become a common phenomenon. There are different studies that conclude results of why such a huge number of children end up in such a 'profession'. Some conclude that it's the poverty that leads the children to do so, sometimes it's the Parents who have nothing to live so they use their children to 'earn' a living, some children end up here as a result of child trafficking, and a few run away from homes due to domestic violence. No matter what the reason is, the fact of the matter remains that 1.5 million children are on streets and not in a school, or even a suitable place to live.

This situation is not only alarming but dangerous too, as these children are more vulnerable to abuse from criminal gangs, drug addicts and begging mafias who take these children under their wing and use them in criminal activities. And the greater danger that this situation post is to the future of Pakistan? How can a country with such a high number of children on streets can compete in this modern World? A World where we are not even involving 1.5 million minds for prosperity?

This is a serious issue to which we don't have a suitable, permanent, consistent and rapid solution yet. The Government claims to be working on this issue, but it seems that it isn't enough. A few NGOs and Organization also have been playing their part but until and unless you, me and we all acknowledge and understand the situation and gravity of it, nothing will change. In a country where only 1% people pay taxes, no Government would be able to help these poor children.

You, me, We have to come forward, understand our role, contribute to the cause, pay taxes and empower the Government to take steps, pressurize the authorities to take actions, take responsibility of one or a few children to educate them, collect funds on a community level to help the local children are a few steps that we have to immediately take.

The fundamental purpose of this petition is to educate people about the issue and it's seriousness and encourage them to play their individual and collective roles to help their own future. Believe me, it's not the child begging on the road side, it's the Country's future begging in front of everybody to save it.

 

References.

Ghani, F. (2014). Pakistan's street children. Al Jazeera. Retrieved from: https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2014/08/pakistan-street-children-abuse-201482081751975165.html

Hussain, A. (2018). Action against begging mafia must be taken now. Enough is enough. Daily Times. Retrieved from: https://dailytimes.com.pk/259380/action-against-begging-mafia-must-be-taken-now-enough-is-enough/

Mueeb, M. (2018). Child Beggars. The Express Tribune. Retrieved from: https://tribune.com.pk/story/1820601/6-child-beggars/

Haider, M. (2019) Only one percent Pakistanis pay taxes: FBR. The News. Retrieved from: https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/425729-only-one-percent-pakistanis-pay-taxes-fbr