“Aaj mera dill fikar main hai, Aay roshneoon kay Shiher “

“Today my heart worries, O the city of light.”

This is a common site on the streets of Karachi, We see them begging, cleaning cars and working at workshops and grocery stores every day, and yet we ignore them.
Children are the future of Pakistan, but I am not too sure about the future of this six year old. He should be playing with toys and learning to read and write but instead he is collecting garbage.
There is a need to implement firm laws against child labor and an even greater need to provide free and quality education to the poor children of our society.

16 Comments so far

  1. Hasan (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 12:59 am

    they are very very ‘taiz’.none is a seedha.
    pakistan can make a very good use of them!!

  2. Manish (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 1:12 am

    @Hasan…well to survive on the streets, they’ve got to be taiz………..
    And yes, there is a need to implement a lot of laws, but before that, awareness is a must and that can only come throgh education…….so we need to educate our masses before we can actually expect them to obey rules and regulations……

  3. Darthvader (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 1:19 am

    very nice pic man – nice in a infinitely sad and melancholic way.

  4. Darthvader (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 1:25 am

    you know man i say a lot of dumb stupid things ..but i think Hasan takes the cake with this mindbogglingly stupid remark about these kids who are subjected to child labor/abuse everyday of their lives.


  5. Saadu (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 2:07 am

    Its a sad affair to realize how these children’s future is stolen from them. Tough law are not effective because often times this practice ‘its in the family business’. In my opinion, the key is Good + Free education and knowledge. Education is fine but it doesn’t help a common man, what crap can it do in his life knowing 20 theorems for math. There should be more practical hands on institutes in Pakistan which give people a ‘hunar’ and a way to feed themselves. We dont need sooooooo many doctors and lawyers and engies. We need people who can manage better, people who can do better at a micro level, who can run their own bussiness and innovate it rather enslave their children into the same thing for decades to come.

  6. Original-Anon (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 3:52 am

    This breaks my heart.What a beautiful, innocent face and nothing, absolutely nothing to look forward to; just the same old garbage pickup all his life.

  7. Mansoor 'Manny' Siddiqui (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 5:01 am

    Reality guys!

    An idea for people who really want to do something for such under-priviledged people. I know that most of us who are reading/writing this blog are well-off, right? and I am also assuming that we all have massis who come to our house for work and sometimes they bring their children with them. The child in the above picture is one of those children.

    Why can’t we talk to their parents and support a child? Why don’t we tell them that “dude, we will pay you xyz amount per month but you have to make sure that your child”

    (1) Goes to school
    (2) Does not work @ all
    (3) Does not maanga bheek on the streets
    (4) Anything else you guys want to add????

    We could keep check-n-balance on them and stop supporting the child if they don’t do what we want them to! I know for a fact that I works and no wonder it will work for you too if you want to support a child!

    Now the question is: how much would it cost you to support a child? I am not sure but it depends on many things such as education expenses, books and other study related expenses, clothes/uniform, etc.

    How about 1000 rupees / month? would that be enough for sending a kid to school and for his/her books and other study related material? of course I am assuming that you are sending the kid of peeli building, not some English medium school (but if you want to do that, thats great).

    1000 rupees / month = $16.67

    I am sure we all in the West can easily avoid eating out once in a month for supporting that child. Can’t we? and people back @ home, come on now, for sure you can avoid one of the pop concerts and don’t go to Area 51 once in a month, right?

    Come guys, lets do that. Once, at least once, we got to put our money where our mouth is …..

  8. xia (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 6:53 am


    Why do we have massis in our houses? My own house may have at least 2 massis in Karachi. I see these big houses here and there are no massis here (US).
    It is really sad to see that some houses have upto 5 helper massis or nokars. Why are we so dependant on this help?
    I asked my mom several times and everytime I get some weird response. I just can’t understand.

    Anyway, we are talking about kids. I am sure people have no issue with supporting a kid. Actually this organization called islamicrelief does sponsor a program called alyateem.
    You can choose to sponsor an orphan. I know it isnot the same, but it is start for some of us who are lazy to do research.

    JazakAllah Khair,

  9. hush (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 7:16 am

    Even if I have a billion dollars to throw away I would still not give my money to Islamic Relief or World Vision type of organizations who FORCE these kids to then convert to their religion.

    Why the f’ck do we have to give it to a religious org.

    Shehzad roy’s zindagi trust is doing a good job…citizens foundations is too…

    so lets not nurture these jazakullah kher peopleee…….

  10. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 9:47 am

    I would still not give my money to Islamic Relief or World Vision type of organizations who FORCE these kids to then convert to their religion.

    You have a theory that all these street kids are non-muslims and are converted by some particular org?Intresting, I would like that you shed more light upon this topic ,offcourse with some proof?

  11. Jamash (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 10:00 am

    @ HUSH : First of all Islam is a wonderful religion, some of our Mullahs have manipulated it. Islam is a religion and the foundation of every religion present on the face of this earth is based upon humanity, In Islam also, Humanity is given the top most priority, but sadly most of our Mullahs don’t see that … Regarding “JazakAllah Khair” The word it’s self is beautiful in all its meanings and it’s status, It is more powerful and appropriate then Thanks or “Shukriyah” . But despite my disagreements with you I would strongly agree with you that I would not want to send my kid or any other Kid to a Madursa, for education, Islamic education is a Must but everything should be in a balance.

    Regarding the Peela or Neela ( What ever the color is nowadays ) I don’t think they are of any good either.

    On another related note: Citizens Foundation is doing a nice job educating the poor, If you want to support them, there are Mo’s Star mugs and books available at Oxford University Press at Dolmin Mall Tariq Road to support them. also you can drop some extra change in their drop boxes which are placed at many shops, restaurants etc.

  12. IllusionFS (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 10:14 am

    Manny: For most of my cousins who goto decent private schools (Matriculation system & not O Levels) it costs them less than 12,000 Rs a year. I think the fees for NED University (the elitest Engineering University in Pakistan) is around 12000 Rs.

    I am not sure if Shehzad Roy’s Zindagi Trust ( http://www.zindagitrust.org/ ) is open for donations, but it is an excellent program for the street children. So if you have the will to support such children, Zindagi Trust is a very good option.

  13. Foize (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 4:30 pm

    I’m working for the upliftment of working children in Sher Shah and almost all the children coming to our Centre work to support their families. Though we provide free education alongwith health services, vocational training and recreational facilties, yet we cannot stop them from working because without the income the children earn, their families would be worse-off. Child labor is not as emotional as it is made to seen. What would be more depressing would be to see families starve to death with the abolishment of child labor. There are myriad of case studies where children resorted to begging, stealing or taking to the streets once they were pulled out of the work force because they do not find education interesting or worthwhile. I really believe, rather than talking about abolishing child labor, we should work to better the conditions through which child labor operates.

  14. hush (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 11:39 pm

    @ adnan siddiq

    My close friend worked with WorldVision for a long time sponsoring a new kid every few months but stopped after a while when we realized that they try to convert those kids to christianity (it was in africa).

    My anger is based upon the fact that why in the world do we think about these RELIGIOUS related organizations first?????

    We need to separate religion from state. Its been long overdue.

  15. Moiz Kazmi (unregistered) on July 18th, 2006 @ 1:46 am

    We at Azad Foundation do our best to educate and help economically such street children !!

  16. Moiz Kazmi (unregistered) on July 18th, 2006 @ 1:48 am

    We at Azad Foundation do our best to educate and help economically such street children !!

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