How I ended up on the streets


A personal account

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"I was born in 1994 in a very poor home. From my birth I never really knew what a carefree day meant. I ate rice and lentils for one meal and had just water for the next.....My father worked in a furniture store.  I think that he still does, but his work does not last all year round.  For 6 months he has no work.  The money that my father earned in those 6 months, my mother eked out over the whole year. [When his father falls sick, he stops attending school and leaves home.  He finds work to help support the family.  He was told by his employer - another boy ] 'If you stay with me, you'll get money and food - you'll get everything.  Your work is to go every night and steal coal from the coal trains and bring it to me. I will give you money for it'. I agreed to what he said and every day I stole coal from the coal trains and he gave me money for it.  I didn't even bother going home any more..."


Note: To preserve the children's privacy, this is a library photo, taken on the streets of Kolkata in 2010

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