Just imagine kids of 10 years old who are in our homes. Do you understand their thought? Or what do they do in a day?
Go to school, study at home, watching cartoons or playing games in computer or television rest of the time-this is the general daily routine of a kid of 10. Most of the time, they will be in their own world which is full of their dreams, full of their superheroes. In their rooms you can see the posters of their favorite cartoon characters hanging on the wall, sticker in the notebooks, and pictures in bag, pencils or sharpener. They don’t go outside to play as their parents don’t allow them because of their safety. So, their world is surrounded by cartoons and other indoor games. They always want to do some crazy stuff because they want to be unique. If you tell them to stop, the answer will be “I AM GROWN UP. I am not a child anymore. So, I can do whatever I want to.”
Now, I am going to write about two kids who are what we call ‘street children’. They are Janhangir Alam and Tauhidul Islam. Both of them are 10 years old and live at Chittagong in Bangladesh.
Janhangir works in a hotel in the day time. In the night, he plays with his friend Masuk, who is also the same age of him. He loves roaming here and there all the time. I asked him why he stopped his study. The answer was he has to earn for his family, otherwise his mother, who stays in village, will starve. I reminded him his age, but he said, “I AM GROWN UP”. I changed the topic. My next question what he does in the leisure time: whether watches television like other kids of his age. He watches television in his neighborhood, and according to him, watching cartoons is childish and bogus. He thinks, the kids who don’t have anything to do, they watch cartoons, which is worthless.
Like him, Tauhidul is also working. He asks money from the passerby of streets. He is not ready to agree calling his work begging. He is also earning as he is “GROWN UP”. He loves playing in the open field. There is no fear for him to get lost, so he can play without any tension. But, sometime he watches cartoons in the television. There is neither any
dish connection where he lives, nor any television. So, if the head of their colony allows him, he can see cartoons in his home with his kids. He watches only one cartoon which is “SISIMPUR“. As he stopped going to school, he can learn a little bit from this cartoon. It’s his additional concern. Still his major concern is how to earn more to lead a better life.
Now, please think of it. These kids are only 10 years old, but there is a huge difference between their thoughts. One group is thinking of imagery things, which we are allowing. Even they don’t have any idea about real world. And another group is thinking of livelihood and managing life. After all, both of them are GROWN UP!
Thanks to my friend Nasima, for whom I was able to meet these kids.