Yesterday the daily sun in its back page carried the story of addiction of street children to synthetic glue which they call ‘dandi’. It is by inhaling lethal dose of burnt plastic and glue. What do these kids know about how harmful drugs are for health! They seek temporary relief from harshness of daily life through drugs. Many street children in Dhaka city are addicted to various forms of drugs. The number of addicted children will rise with the number of children on the streets.
Many reasons force children to live on the streets. We must sincerely address those causes to prevent children being on the streets. Red tape must not slow down the efforts in getting children off the streets and into correction institutes as fast as possible. That must be our main objective; otherwise, we cannot stop street children getting addicted to various drugs.
According to a survey carried out by ICDDR,B and Most at-Risk Adolescents (MARA) in 2016, there were 4.45 lakh street children in Bangladesh – 3 lakh in Dhaka alone at that time. Most of them are addicted to drugs. Experts say that drug addiction among street children is due to living without family, love and care.
Many organisations work for bettering their life. But they cannot do enough to get the children off the streets. We cannot look on nonchalantly as young lives wither away on the streets. Even a single child living on the street is one too many.
The government should launch a comprehensive campaign involving public and private organisations, schools, universities and civil society to get the children into correctional facilities and provide education. In this way these children will be assets instead of liabilities of our country.