We see street children everywhere in Karachi and other urban areas. They usually sell flowers, cloths, books and copies, or polish boots or collect garbage and some survive on begging. Some bystanders even look at them as petty criminals. Sadly, they are in their millions in major cities and urban centers, constituting one of the country’s largest and most ostracized social group.

These include ‘runaway’ children who live or work on the street, as well as the minority that return to their families at the end of the day with their meager earnings. This forgotten lot is increasing alarmingly due to the sheer negligence of the authorities concerned as well as the society. The figure of these children across the country simply has been reaching alarming heights and there seems to be no saviour. A number of them are in Karachi alone.

Making the matters worse is the fact that child protection laws exist but are lying in officialdom’s shelves and dungeons gathering dust.

Also successive governments’ failure to address problems associated with poverty and social inequality has given rise to this evil. A great and persistent effort is required to reverse the situation.


Karachi, November 17.