The Most Vulnerable Citizen

Children living in the slums are the most disadvantaged citizens of the entire population of Bangladesh! When we think of a deprived child, traditionally the picture that comes in our mind is that of a child in a rural village. But today, an increasing number of children living in slums and shantytowns are among the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in the world, deprived of the most basic services and denied the right to thrive. These children are often “invisible” to the decision makers and become lost in the hazy statistical average that conceals grave inequalities. Close to 4 million people live in the squalors or squatter quarters around Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. Every year more and more people are either pulled or pushed to the capital city. Some come to earn a better living and some come as forced migrants due to river erosion, cyclone or similar natural disasters. However, once coming to the city, they find themselves thrown into a horrible battle of survival. Many work as Rickshaw-puller, day laborer or hawker and earn a scanty amount barely meeting one course of meal a day. Children become the most affected! When survival is at stake, education becomes unimportant. Government seems to overlook these slum dwellers and don’t want to recognize their dire states. Another big issue with the slum kids are that they are left unattended during majority part of the day because their parents work as day laborers and could not afford to manage any day care service. Due to lack of supervision, many kids run into accidents or get attached to drug-circle. May be in movie, slum-dogs become millionaire, but in reality they hardly get a chance to stand on their own feet!

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