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Here is a collection of portraits of the street children and Bal Shaka staff in Patna.

Click on the image and it will take you to the collection on flickr.

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It interests me to hear that many of the street kids that beg at railway stations do not want to be helped. They have become so ingrained into the life on the street or platforms. They have freedom and independence away from adults – this has become their home, this is what they know. Why would they want anything more?

 

Unfortunately though, if every morning you were to be poked in the eye, the only time that you know that something is wrong is when the poking stops.

 

Many of these kids have been sexually abused, bullied, robbed, raped and sold as prostitutes or as human traffic. They beg or steal to put food in their mouths and survive. But more often than not they are feeding the greed of their parents or beggar masters. Their esteem has been reduced to such a low level that many change their names, sniff glue or any other easily available substance. They partake in anything so that they do not need to address where they are at. HIV and Aids runs rife, and remember this is children that we are talking about.

 

They get here, by running away from something, a father that beats or abuses them. Or they get here by running to something, the lure of Bollywood – bright lights big city. What is certain is that kids are designed to be kids. They are not mini adults. They need to grow up in an environment where they are protected and allowed to understand the emotions that make up the human psyche. If this doesn’t happen then the emotions become mis placed and and the easiest way of dealing with this is to go under the haze of a self induced high.

 

I am here for 3 months helping this charity: www.therailwaychildren.org.uk

 

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