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Save innocent helpless children from the underworld
 by Harsha Udayakantha Peiris,

Sri Lanka has ratified the United Nations Convention on Child Rights which is committed to safeguarding the fundamental rights of children to life, protection, education, medical care and adequate standards of living irrespective of where they are born.

But this little girl or her mother cannot struggle or fight to win these rights as their whole life is a struggle a fight to survive.

Along the dusty streets of Pettah in Colombo this little flower bud is a common sight to many a passer by, helping her mother to make ends meet, to make a scanty life. During the day, she brings water and plain tea to her mother who is begging in the street. In the afternoon both of them share a packet of lunch sitting on the pavement. She often spends her evening hours playing with her doll which has lost its both hands and both legs.

Besides all the hardships of street life, she seems to be happy and contented as she is yet too small to understand that the reality of this sort of life is full of misery and will be much harsher in the future.

It is a known fact that most of the street children like her in Sri Lanka , are subjected to torture, violence, sexual harassment and many such problems, sometimes even before they reach teenage. To the underworld, these children become the best tool to carry out their various illegal missions ranging from sale of illicit drugs to child prostitution.

Mahinda Chinthana which is towards a new Sri Lanka promises, "Children of all religions to be able to obtain an education in keeping with their religious beliefs and to eliminate child abuse, rape, underworld and organized crime". Mahinda Chinthana also promises to introduce a mechanism to provide legal aid to the less privileged and the needy.

Besides all these statements it seems that the chances of enjoying these rights actually depend on the generosity of the more affluent. Therefore, the state and other social organizations should take up the matter of homeless children more seriously than ever before and should do all they can to ensure the rights of these innocent lives.

Our national education syllabus at school level has also included many lessons in its text books about such homeless children but, without taking practical measures to completely eradicate this problem of street children, and to offer them the right to a full life, theoretical teaching and preaching such lessons at school level would make no diversion in the course towards the making of a proud, self reliant Sri Lankan Nation in the future.

 

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