We see many trash picker children around our homes and streets daily. Chatting and giggling while digging through the massive garbage dump at every corner to support themselves and their families in most cases.
I never saw anyone stopping for them and asking why they have got to do all this and at such early ages? Where do they come from? What are their names? No one ever asked. Because it does not matter. We as a society have absorbed the fact that at every garbage heap there must be a few little children probing it, picking from it, and the worst eating from it. It’s a shame that it is not shocking to see it happening.
Abeel, a 12 years old boy, is also one of those many children. I saw him this morning through the window while sitting in my office, doing something after which I could not resist but to go to him and ask him why has he to do this. He had lit fire in the stove which he had made from the bricks and stones near the trash container and was cooking something in a mud pot. When I went near I saw it was maggy noodles boiling inside it.
I asked him why he was cooking it here in such dirty place. And asked him over to come inside and cook his food in our kitchen. But he said he was cooking just for experiment and that he will not eat it. He did not answer any of my questions except telling his name. He remained silent and smiling with shyness. I had already taken his picture without teling him, when he was busy in cooking. But he got embarrassed and was hiding his face. So I will not share his picture here as I did not want to embarrass him and I do not want to do it now either. I came back inside. And saw him shifting his small kitchen at the backside of the container so that I cannot see him eating.
Now when I am writing it down, I have no conclusion to make, no sensational expressions to awake the emotions of sympathy. I leave you with this image. It says it all…