Pawan Kumar, an eight years old boy native to Bihar migrated to Kolkata due to a financial crisis his family was facing. It was because of his father’s debt that they had to move to a city to earn a living for themselves and clear the debt. The debt collectors used to also intimidate his family. The debt turned Pawan’s father into an alcoholic and later he died due to kidney failure. It was then that his mother decided to move to Delhi close to wear his grandparents lived. Pawan now lives in a temporary home inside a park next to Lal Quila in Delhi. He is living there with his mother and younger brother. His mother, Shanti Devi now works as a daily wage labourer.
Pawan is a shy boy and finds it difficult to interact with people and express himself. He usually cannot articulate well. He occasionally attends the interim school run by a local NGO. He likes to play in the park with his friends when he is not attending school.
It was confirmed that the child does not show any signs of addiction or physical abuse. Furthermore, on observing the child and closely interacting with him, it was found that he was undernourished and had many skin-related problems. These were mostly due to lack of hygiene.
Living on the streets developed a sense of insecurity in Pawan. He said that “I used to feel scared when my father was around but after coming to live with my grandparents, I feel safe. Sometimes there are people who do drugs under the flyover and I feel scared when I see them. Once there was a guy who looked like he was dead inside the park but we later found out that he was drunk and sleeping.”
Save the Children identified Pawan and his family. Pawan has now been registered for an Aadhaar Card. This will give him an identity and give him a sense of security. He says “once I have an Aadhaar Card and identity, the police will not pick me up”.
It sad how most people take significant things like an identity for granted. There are many children like Pawan who live on the streets and get picked up by the police every now and then without even committing any crime. By donating to charities like Save the Children you can help in giving such children an identity and a sense of worth.