CENTRE for POLICY ANALYSIS

CENTRE for POLICY ANALYSIS

“Social progress can be measured by the social position of the female sex” - Karl Marx

ARTICLE


Invisible Children Of Delhi


Introduction

The existence of street children in Delhi is not something new. Historically, the streets of Delhi have been both the theatre and battleground for the children whom we call Street children. They have been talked about in the news, referred in literature and have led to the development of organizations to assist them like CRY, Salaam Balaak. It has been estimated through the study conducted by UNICEF that there are around 100000 children roaming on the streets of Delhi and the number is still increasing.  

Definition of Street Children

Henry Mayhew first used the term 'street children' in 1851 when he wrote 'London Labour and London Poor'. In earlier researches any child working or living on the streets was termed as street child. Later the street children were distinguished on the basis of the time they spend on the streets and different definitions were introduced. According to UNICEF they fall under two categories- On the street and Of the street. "Children of the street" are the homeless children who live and sleep on the streets in urban areas. They are on their own and do not have any parental supervision or care though some do live with other homeless adults. "Children on the street" earn a livelihood from street such as street urchins and beggars. They return home at night and have contact with their families.  

Case studies

Raj Kumar a ten-year-old boy shifted to the streets of Delhi with his family who originally belonged to Rajasthan due to his health conditions. They shifted to Delhi to earn money for his surgery. Not being able to rent a room they started to live with the other people on the streets in the tent under the flyover. Raj joined the kids in selling the stuff on the streets. As he did not have any documents the health and welfare programs did not reached him, as he was invisible to the system. Who reached out to him was the people who promised him a good and better life with more money he was earning and took him somewhere unknown where he was made to do embroidery work. Those people also introduced him to the drug. He got addicted to sniffing of the glue and chewing tobacco, which further worsen his condition. The owner did not find his work satisfactory so he was thrown out of there. After travelling in the train hiding from the ticket checker along with some more kids begging on the train he was somehow able to reach back to his parents. He again joined his friends in selling of the stuff but after few months he left everyone and rested in peace.  His parents being helpless returned back to their village.

Gopal a five-year-old boy has always been on road since the day he was born. He sells roses on the red light and earns twice the more money then any other member of his family. He was given glue once but the older street kids near him didn't allowed him to continue. He is the youngest of the all in that group and therefore all the others are protective of him. He wakes up early morning everyday so that he can sit on the footpath and watch the children get into their buses for school. He wishes to join school someday. The scheme started by the government have not reached him also as he is also invisible in the system. Therefore, so that he can go to school someday he saves money in a broken box hidden under the tiles of footpath on which they spend the maximum time.  

Drug Use and Street Children

Out of all the kids running around in the streets of Delhi around 70,000 are addicts to one or the other drugs according to the survey conducted by Women and Child Development Department in collaboration with National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre at AIIMS. Out of there 20,000 are addicted to tobacco, 9,450 to alcohol, 7,910 to inhalants, 5,600 to cannabis, 840 to heroin, 210 each to pharmaceutical opioids and sedatives each. Injecting any available drug is common in these kids and the number cannot be estimated. Drugs are introduced to these kids when they are introduced in the world of begging and slavery. Sedatives and inhalants are introduced to these kids at a very early age of two while alcohol and tobacco is introduced at the age of ten while heroin and cannabis at the age of thirteen to fourteen.

The little kids in the arms of those helpless ladies as they saw are not their real kids. They are the kids who are being rented to them for rupees two hundred or three hundred depending on the condition of the kid. The worst the condition of the kid the more the money will be asked for. These kids are given sedatives so that they remain unconscious or unresponsive so that they do not cry or shout during the time when they ask for alms.  

According to WHO reports kids forced to beg or work on the streets or in the illegal factories of crackers, candle and bangle factory or made to do embroidery use drugs to anaesthetize physical or emotional pain, or to replace the need for food.

Mafia and Children

According to the police statistics 44,000 children disappear each year. The true number of abducted children is believed to be much higher, estimation going up to one million a year but it is not recorded due to the reports not filed or the missing child being orphan making them all invisible in the system. These children are then sold of as cheap labor in illegal factories, establishments and homes. Send of to Gulf countries as camel jockeys or are forced to beg.  Sold to people in the process of illegal adoption. The worst these kids face is when they become a part of organ trading. Out of lakhs of kids seen in the streets only twenty percent of them are girls. As the girls abducted are seldom forced into marriage or exploited as sex slaves or forced into child porn industries. Boys are also forced into porn industries but mainly it is the girls.  

Mafia make sure that these kids are addicted to the street life and drugs so that even if set free in some rescue operation they are more likely to come back to streets only. These kids in the need of drugs and surviving on the streets ends up getting involved in the business of drug selling in illegal manner or any other criminal activity.  

Delhi Government, Police and NGOs on Mafia of Beggars

According to the state government of Delhi there is no mafia controlling the beggars of Delhi. These kids are by choice on the streets some along with their families. According to Bhisham Singh Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch), there is no begging mafia in Delhi as suggested by their findings. Investigation was conducted for sixty days with surveillance points at ten specific areas with large number of beggars. It was monitored round-the –clock and two hundred beggars were interviewed. And it was concluded that no mafia or organized racket was controlling them. There is an informal network which beggars become part of after having spent years on the streets. But still he had some doubts and say it cannot be certified that no mafia exists at all.  

According to Rakesh Senger who along with his team from Bachpan Bachao Andolan assisted the Delhi Police in its investigation after interviewing thousands of street children one can find clues that suggest forced begging does exist in the city. According to him organized begging groups do not operate in Delhi because of the result of legal and procedural technicalities as authorities rarely invoke the appropriate provisions related to force begging when they come across such cases, making it hard to identify organized rackets.  

This can be backed up with the two cases reported in 2007 and 2011 where Delhi Police busted a gang in South Delhi after they were found to be bringing children from different villages in Rajasthan on the pretext of jobs and forcing them to beg and a women was arrested after being accused of forcing the children to beg while pretending to run a homeless shelter respectively. In both the cases the accused were involved in the forced begging in very systematic manner but were not recorded as the case of organized begging but as the human trafficking and illegal adoption racket respectively.  

Conclusion

As the government and police are still deciding whether begging in Delhi is related to mafia or not, Mafia like a disease is spreading in the streets of Delhi snatching away the childhood and life of those unfortunate souls who have become invisible for the people who are lucky enough to save their loved ones from that life. Invisible to the government, police and people under the dark blanket of drugs these kids still continue their ghostly ambling in the streets. They being reduced to nobody in the place crowded by people and are faceless. An occasional passerby might take notice of them. Then forget them. And they are invisibilized anew.

References


1) A Profile Of Street Children. World Health Organization.

2) Behura,N.K. and Mohanty,R.P. (2005, January 1). Urbanisation, Street Children and their Problems. Discovery Publishing House.

3) India Annual Report, UNICEF, New Delhi, 1990.

4) One Way Street. World Health Organisation.

5) Rao,S. (2012, November 19). Once a Child Learn To Roam Street Freely, He Can Turn Beggar Or Thief By Habit.      

6) Sharma Priyanka. (2017,March 12). Increasing number of Delhi children take drugs with some as young as 12 using HEROIN despite living at home. Mail Online India. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-4307024/New-research-reveals-70-000-Delhi-children-drugs.html#ixzz56XLbIuiJon 8 February 2018.

7) Andrabi Jalees. (2009,January 18). Beggar mafia thrives on lost children. The National. Retrieved from https://www.thenational.ae/world/beggar-mafia-thrives-on-lost-children-1.547033 on 8 February 2018.  

   


ARTICLE

  • The Taj That is India
  • The BJP and Triple Talaq
  • Rohingya: A People Condemned!
  • GLOBALISATION IS THE NEW COLONISATION
  • 9 Key Qs Raised on First Day of Aadhaar Hearing in the Supreme Court
  • A Critical Analysis of Delhi's Human Development Index
  • 3 Army Divisions For 300 Terrorists In JK But No End to Violence: Certainly the Answer Does Not Lie in Force
  • TWO CENTURIES OF BHIMA KOREGAON
  • 'It is Not the Left But the Congress That's the B-Team of the BJP'
  • Kasganj: A Story of People's Unity Fractured by Engineered Hate and Violence
  • Invisible Children Of Delhi
  • India 81 in Corruption Index, Amongst the "Worst Offenders"
  • Economists Hit Out Against Move to Privatise Public Sectors Banks
  • Tripura Trades Decency For False Eldorado
  • Syria's Bloody War
  • Pakistan And China Fill Space In Maldives Willfully Vacated By India
  • The Big Private Crop Insurance Scam: Farmers Par Premium of Rs 482, Receive Rs 5 as Insurance!
  • US Attack on Syria Violates International Law, Total Hypocrisy
  • Death Penalty Is Not The Answer To Sexual Violence: Implement Justice Verma Committee Report
  • Walls on Every Side: Trying to Get Data in India
  • The Ascent of Multi-Politics In Malaysia
  • Why the Objections to Marxism are Mistaken
  • The Rise and Fall of the Malaysian Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim
  • BDS Has Placed Israel on Notice
  • CURTAIN RAISER: ELECTIONS IN PAKISTAN
  • Can We Promote Peace in India, Today?
  • Burying The Two-State Solution
  • Corruption And Class Rule
  • Is Ethnic Cleansing Coming to India
  • Our Real Heroes
  • Confronting Journalism's Misogynistic Trolls
  • ASSESSING THE RETURN OF AN UNLIMITED PRESIDENCY
  • After 17 Years of War, A Peace Movement Grows in Afghanistan
  • Taking Play Seriously: Time to Make Sports A Fundamental Right!
  • Law Commission Publishes Consultation Paper on Sedition
  • Foreign Policy: Between Folly and Foibles
  • Suu Kyi's Continued Denial And Bangladesh's
  • Economy Crumbles as Fuel Prices Skyrocket, Household Budgets Hit
  • Rupee's New Low: A Dangerous Drift
  • Are We Still Ruled by The British?
  • From Anti-National to Urban Naxal: The Trajectory of Dissent in India
  • Learning the Power of Lies: Facts vs. Falsehoods in the Age of Trump
  • The Indian Economy is in a Tailspin
  • China Walks a Tightrope on The Uighur Muslim Issue
  • Is Ram Mandir a Mere Election Strategy of the BJP?
  • The Harsher Counters of India's Drug Legislations
  • BJP's Election Strategy: Data is the New Opium
  • Geographical Indication - India's Untapped Resource
  • Climate Change to Make Prediction of Furious Storms More Difficult
  • Mountain echoes for India
  • Maldives: Has the Wheel Turned Full Circle?
  • President Sirisena Needs to be Reached Sooner Rather Than Later
  • Plastic Pollution in India
  • Prejudice by Any Name
  • 29 Years After Fall of Berlin Wall, Europe Has 1,000 Km of Walls to Stop Migrants
  • The Leftover Women of Afghanistan
  • Harmony of Music and Politics of Silencing
  • The Economics of Policy: Prohibition and Free Water Supply
  • Threat to Democracy in the Age of Social or Anti-Social Media
  • Intellectual Property- A Vital Discipline
  • What Happened in Britain, and What's Next
  • Assembly Debacle: BJP Got Taken in by Its Own Fake News
  • India: Secular Democracy or Hindu Rashtra
  • Adani is Byword for Government's Climate Inaction as Australia Gears for Elections
  • How The Modi Government is Killing Off MGNREGS
  • The Year of the Gazan
  • Assembly Polls: Ten Crucial Takeaways Ahead of 2019
  • The Real Effects of Fake Propaganda on Migrants
  • Why NGOs in Pakistan Are at The Brink of Extinction
  • Dogged by Brexit
  • In My Own Voice: Citizenship Amendment Bill And You
  • Oil Giant Shell Finally Faces Its Day In Court For Complicity In Rapes And Murders in Nigeria
  • The Geopolitics of Pulwama
  • Shah Faesal Cuts Through Calls for Blood and Lays Out a Roadmap for Kashmir
  • Modi's ABC: Avoiding, Burying, Confusing
  • The Kashmir Question: A 'Made in India' Problem
  • Opposition Must Take a Stand Against the War Politics of Hindutva
  • 'Patriotism' Made Easy in Times of 'WhatsApp Elections'
  • Urban Poor Have Set Agenda for 2019 Elections
  • Will the US End Up Putting Sanctions on Every Country That Doesn't Bend to its Will?
  • Minority and Indigenous Women Human Rights Activists More Prone to Harassment UN Report
  • Tribute to Speaker Rabi Ray (1926-2017)
  • International Participation is Necessary Where State is Part of The Problem
  • Italy Takes Belt and Road to The Heart of Europe
  • The Legacy of Shaheed-e-Azam
  • In My Own Voice: Heroes or Hiroshima
  • The Modi Years
  • Election in Israel: A Race to the Bottom
  • Why Bangladesh Overtook Pakistan
  • Digital Monopoly Platforms, Modi Regime and Threat to Our Democracy
  • Elitism and Development
  • Jawaharlal Nehru and Organised Religion
  • A Brief History of the IUML and Kerla's Muslims
  • The Immunisation of Human Rights
  • How Can India Win The Struggle on Poverty?
  • The RSS's Chanakya Neeti
  • Diversity, Belonging and Multiculturalism
  • The Chinese Ambition
  • The Role City Govts Can Play in the Health of Citizens
  • Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlew: Forgotten Warrior of Our Freedom Movement
  • Fighting Climate Change, Building Resilience
  • Mridula Sarabhai(the orignal anti-national)
  • Right to Education: A Dream Half Forgotten
  • Decoding One Nation One Poll
  • Tunisia Heads for Polls Amidst Economic Slowdown, Squsbbling and Crack Down on Islamic Extremist
  • Lynchings, Litchis and No Water: What the International Media is Saying Abount India
  • Blood in the Nile
  • Will the BNP Ever Again be a Major Political Force in Bangladesh?
  • 'Real Estate Brokers' Cannot Dampen The Palestinian Spirit
  • The Indian Liberal's Conundrum
  • Hope For Democracy in Sudan
  • In Depth: Water Crisis Looming Across Tamil Nadu
  • Missing Secularism in New Education Policy
  • Religion, Nationalism And Insurgency in Balochistan
  • Dim Lights, Closed Blinds: History Lessons From a Party in Power
  • Loan Waivers Need Better Designing to Prevent Farmer Suicides
  • Makimg Best Use of Sri Lanka's Strategic Location
  • FDI in Coal: Look Who's Coming to the Party
  • Weapons and the Never Ending Space Race
  • Thirty Years the Berlin Wall Brought Down
  • Reclaiming the Opposition and Political Space in India
  • An Interreligious Conference to Build Bridges in Sri Lanka
  • On 'Correcting' History and Akbar's Invasion of Kashmir
  • The Evolution of the 'Nobel Prize' in Economics
  • Close Coordination Between Turkey and Russia in Syria
  • Sri Lanka's Election Time Promises Costly to Keep
  • The India Economy and The Cobra Effect
  • Fascism: Is Liberal Use "Trivialising" This "Destructive Phenomenon?"
  • Treating the Poor as Development Guinea Pigs
  • A Not sp 'National Education Policy: Analysis Reveals Exclusion in Education Sector
  • University Fee Hikes Pave the Way for Selling Public Assets
  • The Truth About Middle Class 'Revolutions?
  • 50 Years of US Arms Trade: The Lasting Impact on West Asia
  • India Abjures Secularism in Bangladesh's View, Will Regional Cooperation Take a Hit?
  • Amidist Resistance to "De-Tribalisation", A Look at Why Jharkhand Polls are More Critical Than They Appear
  • The Dangerous Game of Citizenship: BJP Creates Divisive Agenda Through NRC
  • Revealed: US Losing Aghan War Due to "Fatally Flawed" War Strategies and Lack of Clear Objetives
  • 'Politics and Prejudice': Can Dalit-Bahujans and left Progressives Join Hands?
  • State Power's Attempts at Rewriting History
  • Afghanista's Tumultous Fourty-Year Journey
  • Nepal: Citizen's Needs Remain Sidelined as Turbulent Game of Politics Continues
  • "Enough is Enough": Secular India Revolts Against a " Majoritarian State"
  • Looking at Cuba's Revolution 61 Years On
  • Soleimani Murder Set to Spiral Out of Control, US Expected to Pressure India Under LEMOA
  • The Rise of Digital Media and The Viral Phenomenon of "Nowledge"
  • Thus Spake JP: Beware the Writing on the Wall
  • Sri Lankan Government Must Pay Attention to Problem-Solving in the North
  • Drowning Nation Clutches at Military Might?
  • India's Neighbourhood First Policy Crumbles
  • A Gobal Assault by the Far-Right
  • Delhi Riots: Historical Patterns, Complicity of Forces Point to Planned Violence
  • Behind The Protests Defending Public Education
  • Putting The Judiciary on Trial
  • "Sanctions Are a Crime": During Coronavirus Pandemic, Sanctions Against Iran, Venezuela Causing Medical Shortages
  • Social Messiahs or Smart Entrepreneurs?
  • Justice Gogoi Joining Rajya Sabha Points to a Constitutional Crisis
  • A Russian "Plays Long Game" Firewall for Venezuela Against US Sanctions
  • RSS and the Question of Morality
  • Establishing COVID-19 Hospitals in Record Time
  • A New "Medical Internationalism" Needed: Cuba At the Pandemic Frontlines Even As Wealthy States Neglect Healthcare
  • Why They Suffer: The Human/Animal Conflict
  • More Books and Snowy Mornings
  • Statesmanship Required to Avert Constitutinal Crisis in Sri Lanka
  • Combating 'Hate Virus': Communal Forces Divide in times of Global Pandemin
  • How Biometric Authentication Has Excluded MAny From The Public Distribution System
  • Lessons From Iraq: Before Trump Sues China, US Must pay for Unjust War on Iraq
  • The American War System And The Global 'War of Error'
  • Demilitarising Patriotism in The Covid Fight
  • Muslims Need a Fair Media
  • Sri-Lanka: Shock of Covid-19 Wanes, Nationalist Sentiments Rise as Elections Approach
  • Covid-19 in Brazil: A 21st Century 'Reenactment' of the 19th Century Yellow Fever?
  • Iran's Fuel Tankers for Venezuela Sail to Safety Under 'Chinese Shield'
  • US Protests Bear Lessons For Sri Lanka
  • India and Nepal in For A Prolonged Standoff?
  • The Fifth Schedule: Tribal Advisory Councils and International Perspectives
  • The Asian American Response to Pandemic-Era Racism Must Be Cross-Racial Solidarity
  • Is Police Brutality Exclusive to the USA?
  • Libya's Future Seema to Rest on Arrangements Between Russia And Turkey
  • China's strategic Mind And Method: "Long-Term Planning" Behind Country's Geo-Political Moves
  • Returning Migrants: A Boon For Rural Industrialisation?
  • Why Refugees in Greece Are Afraid of the Word 'Camp'''
  •