Firstly, the street life is that persons are directly depended on Street or vacant place for the livelihood. Street life is very challenging to the survival to children or even for youth,men,or any other living creatures. They live in cities but they are unable to take those advantage and comfort of urban lifestyle. According to WHO it defines the “street children “as boys and girls aged under 18 years old, for whom “The Street” including unoccupied places and wasteland has become home or their source of livelihood and are inadequately protected or supervised. It is also important to note that the term “Street Children’ also include individual girls and boys of all ages are found living and working in public places and are visible in the great majority of the world’s urban centers. A “Child of street” having no home but the streets. The family may have abandoned him or her or may have no family members alive. It is a common to find the street children at the Bus Stands, Railway Stations, and Traffic Signals etc. women carrying infants and begging. Nowadays, the under passages of the flyovers, metro corridors have become their dwelling places. Not any of the cities or metropolitan areas are exceptions to it. They found in every part of the world. Street children are among the most physically visible of all children, living and working on the roads and public squares of cities. The exact number street children is impossible to quantify, but it is likely to number in the tens of millions or higher, some estimates place in the figure as high as 100 millions. It is likely that the numbers are increasing as the global population grows and as urbanization continues at a pace. In practice, every city in the world has some street children including the biggest and the richest cities by 2015.
Most of the street children are not orphans. Many are still in contact with their families and work on the streets to augment the household income due to poverty. Many others have run away from their homes because of sexual or physical abuse, domestic violence, homelessness etc.The main reason behind this Are :-
1) Neglected children :- Sec.2 (2) of the Children Act 1960 of India defines a “neglected child” as a child who
(i) is found begging
(ii) or is found without having any home or settled place of abode or any ostensible means of subsistence or is found destitute, whether he is an orphan or not
(iii) or has a parent or guardian who is unfit to exercise or does not exercise proper care and control over the child
(iv) or lives in brothel or with a prostitute.
Thus the neglected children are the example of socio-legal issue, which need to be examined.
2) Unwanted children :- who are born outside the wedlock and who are the products of broken homes or relationship.
3) Poverty :- Poverty is also a main reason behind this. When they have not any fundamental object, so they lived as a street boys. According to a study shows that, for most of the children (83%) and their parents are on street due to poverty.
Constitutional provision for safeguard of street children :-
The street children, who form considerable proportion of the world population, are also human beings so need to be cared and protected by all means.
The Constitution of India guarantees several rights to all children. The Special and Guaranteed Articles are:
Article 21.A : The state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six (6) to fourteen (14) years. Article 21 A has been inserted in the Constitution by the constitutes (86th Amendment / Act 2002 with effect from 01-04-2010. The Indian Parliament enacted the Rights of Children to free and Education Act 2009
Article 24 : No child below the age of 14 years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any hazardous employment.
Article 39(e) : The state shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing that the health and strength of workers, men and women and the tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength.
Article 39(f) : The state shall in, particular, direct its policy towards securing that children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.
Article 45 : Provision for early childhood care and education to children below the age of six (6) years. Article 45 was substituted by the Constitution (86th Amendment) Act 2002 with effect from 01-04-2010.
Article 51A (K): Fundamental Duties :- It shall be the duty of every citizen of India (k) “who is a parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child or as the case may be ward between the age of six (6) and fourteen (14) years”.
Article 51 A (K) was inserted by the Constitution (86th Amendment/ Act 2002 with effect from 01-04-2010.
Besides the above said articles, some of the Articles of the Constitution provide and guarantee the Rights of the children equally with the citizens of India just as any other adult male or female.
Suggestion to overcome this problem
Street children in India is a socio-legal issue which needs to be tackled carefully. When we met those children we must inform the police, local NGOs, children care homes etc. We must try to make their rights fulfilled. There are some suggestions to minimize this problem:-
- Monitoring, review and reform of policies, programs and laws to ensure protection of children’s interests and rights.
- Complete abolition of child labour with the aim of progressively eliminating all the forms of economic exploitation of children.
- Securing for children all legal and social protection from all kinds of abuse, exploitation and neglect.
- Childhood care development and quality education for all children.
- Separate vigilance Agency for look out children exploitation, begging, chid physical and sexual abuse etc. Conclusion
The children must be saved because children are most important asset of the country. So it is duty of citizens and society to protect them. Society should come forward against this social evil. We should must create awareness about it and help in ensuring basic rights. Nations should starting at the Mandal or Taluk level and awareness programmes need to be conducted giving , wide publicity holding public meetings, street level group discussion with village elders, conducting film shows, dramas, audio-visual programs etc; highlighting the importance, need to provide, care and protection of the street children. The government should also allocate proper fund for children development and for elementary education. There is need to be start new programmes, scheme and the amendment in law where it needed.