Privileged and under-privileged
When you hop into a public transport here in Kathmandu, you’ll find boys, (children, teenagers, adults) working as the conductor or the bus boy. If you ask them about studies, they would probably say they are literate but uneducated. Their dreams? (small boys) to become a driver. Most of these kids have run away from home because of the physical abuse or torture s by their step-parents or just because they wanted to be free. They have come here, from different parts of Nepal, to the land of dreams and opportunities to change their fates, to fulfill their dreams, only here, in Kathmandu.
In the same bus, there are other sects of children, teenaged and adult boys, who have landed in this city to fulfill their dreams, just as the previous group had but what makes these two groups different is, the messy looking bus-boys had run away from their house while the group of clean, uniformed ‘educated’ were send by their parents to get better opportunities and facilities. They have bigger dreams, dreams that every child has, higher aims of becoming a doctor, engineer, pilot etc. that we used to write about in our essays, back in school days.
They have many similarities than differences, they fall in same age group, are citizens of same country and sometimes, belong to same villages. Then, what makes them different? Only one word is enough to describe and summarize the numerous differences they have- Privilege. One sect is the privileged group and another under privileged. One group has their parents provide everything to them while the other needs to earn their livelihood themselves.
Although there are laws against child labor in Nepal, it looks like they are just limited to the papers. Possibly, the law makers themselves have children as their domestic help. We see children waiting tables, washing dishes at various restaurants and hotels, beggars and street children involved in drugs and dendrites. The money they make, ends up into buying drugs, and why not? They cannot afford to have warm clothes, blankets to cover them up, shelter to keep them protected from sun, cold and rain, so in order to forget all their troubles they end up finding their haven in drugs.
Many NGOs and INGOs claim to be working for their rights and duties, but it seems so less has been achieved. They might build structures to call it a school and home but do not come back to check whether they actually study and live there. Rather than filling the schools and libraries with desks, benches, books, they seem to be filling their bank account. Some organization are there which call themselves an orphanage the children living there aren’t always orphans rather they are bought or kidnapped to earn money by getting them adopted by the foreigners. This resulted in the government putting a ban over child adoption by a foreign national. However, there are some that actually work for the betterment of these children and although they have been doing the service for past few decades, there is still a lot to be achieve. Success in eradication of child abuse and labor cannot be achieved as long as the thousands of kids are on road rather the day we find every child safe at home or under a shelter is the day we achieve success and remove the gap between privileged and under privileged.