Child begging in Pakistan

Children are the future of Pakistan. But child begging in Pakistan is increasing day by day. It has become a profession in all parts of our country. A large number of our beggars are children\'s under the age of 10 years. Begging has become a lucrative business in Pakistan.
They beg for their survival, it is a pity that they have to pay up for the mafia, which controls the areas. Different areas are controlled by the mafia who are the bosses of those areas. The beggars have to pay them a particular amount on weekly or monthly basis. Sometimes, they also have to pay to police and other members of the society. Children\'s rights activist express concerns about a recent surge in the number of children begging. Gangs kidnap children, cripple them to make more pitiable and trade them of to each other, forcing them to begging.
Begging is punishable by up to three years in Pakistan, but police and lawyers say convictions are rare. In 2011, the Lahore high court ruled that the government should strictly enforce laws to discourage \"professional beggars\". Children\'s are seen on the roads carrying handkerchiefs, newspaper and also other smaller stuff and use it mask them begging practice. According to the Asian Human Rights Commissions (AHRC), there are 1.2 million children on the streets of Pakistan\'s major cities and urban centers. Abysmal economic conditions, military operations in the north along with the 2010 flooding have resulted in fractured family structures encouraging children to take to the streets. While natural climates and political upheavals are much to blame, this problem has been persistent in our society.
Poverty, domestic physical and mental abuse, neglect and family problems are some of the identified problems that lead children to begin living on streets. Many of these children collect wastepaper, washing cars or working in small hotels. Unfortunately, many of them take up begging, pick pocketing. Instead of having these children focus on their future by providing them with education, love, motivation and support to excel in their lives, they\'re given flowers and wipers to make a living at the age of 9 or 13.
Yes, the future of Pakistan is on the streets. The number of children on the streets has nearly tripled since last year. Many of these children don\'t focus on how to excel in their education and make a successful careers. They\'re more focused on earning enough money to fill their stomachs. Instead of being a doctor, lawyer, teacher or businessman, the children have made their professional careers in begging.
The government should take steps to control this problem and provide necessary facilities to these innocent children so that they may also get education and earn a living through their hard work and knowledge.
Rohe Sarbaz
Islamabad

Multimedia

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