450,000 children living on the streets in Dhaka

“They are born on the streets, pass life on the streets and eventually die on the streets”.

“They are born on the streets, pass life on the streets and eventually die on the streets”.
This statement from a report into the life of street children in Bangladesh seems like a dramatic way to start this article, however for many children living on the streets it is a fact of life. If you asked the roughly 450,000 children living on the streets in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital, how many have lost a parent, the amount would astound anyone.

There are many reasons children are forced to live on the streets including: abandonment due to poverty or neglect, drug and alcohol abuse, physical abuse and of course, death of one or both parents. Once a child is abandoned onto the streets, they are a lot more vulnerable to abuse, sexual assaults, forced labour and slavery, and death.

For Tuhin, sadly, his life dramatically changed because of the death of his father in a road accident. After the accident, his mother couldn’t provide for the family and Tuhin was forced to live on the streets. Tuhin managed to gain work by repairing bicycles for minimal amounts of money and long hours which, in turn, has given him a look of stress that a man six times his age would wear.

This life of emptiness and striving to stay alive doesn’t give a lot of room for planning for a future. However, we can give that opportunity. By giving street children, like Tuhin, a basic education, a meal and counselling every day, they can have a chance for a future. The Drop-in Centre in Dhaka is a ray of light that can end the cycle of living and then dying on the street.

It’s hard to imagine any situation where we would have to force a child into bonded labour just to keep our family from starving. Surely, we would do anything we can to keep our family safe and fed but what if anything wasn’t enough? What would you do if there was no way of earning enough for your family to be fed? This is the sad reality of many parents who live in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The Drop-in Centre is accessible for children who are unable to attend full time school. Located adjacent to the Bangladesh garment industry’s hub, the Centre provides a safe and enriching environment where children receive nutritious food, education, social and psychological support, recreational activities, healthcare services, bathing facilities, and legal aid, if necessary.
Your gift will provide healthcare to street children who are unable to pay for medical care or nutritious food. It will also provide for psychological support for those struggling with alcohol or drug abuse, anxiety, or depression, social support and recreational activities, and education so the children can learn to read, write, and do simple math.
If you would like to support the Drop-in Centre you can do so here