I am sure that most of us have at some point felt that life is unfair to us because we don’t have what we want. All it would take for us to realise that if we have a roof above our head, warm blankets for the cold nights, access to regular meals in a day, and the love and support of our parents, then we are luckier than a lot of people. One look at the life of homeless kids will make us more grateful for all the luxuries that we take for granted, when the innocent children on the streets don’t even have the means to afford the very basic necessities. It becomes a duty for us as responsible citizens with a conscience to do our best to ease their hardships. Let’s see how we can take small steps, which can impact these kids in a large way.
- Embrace the concept of ‘Crowdfunding’.
We can come together and form a body of representatives that collects funds from willing donors, and create a fund, which looks after the needs of the kids. Crowdfunding is a very popular method of generating funds for corporates and NGOs, and we can use this for the benefit of the homeless kids in or around the neighbourhood.
- Donate, with love. If only we stopped being lazy and took out time to clean our cupboards regularly! It is highly likely that we will find clothes that don’t fit us anymore, or we won’t wear them because they are so passé! But, the homeless children don’t have the luxury of worrying too much about fashion, so they will readily accept the clothes you donate to them, so they have clothes to cover themselves up. But please, don’t donate clothes that are soiled or damaged beyond repair.
- Teach them about the importance of sanitation and education.
Chances are that you will not have to work very hard when telling them how important it is to get educated. Chances are that they are willing to work very hard, if only they could be given a chance to go to school and learn. But, a lot of kids come under pressure due to increasing financial crises at home and are forced to drop out of school, so that they can work and help their elders to run the house. Tell them not to! Try and understand what their situation is, talk to them and their parents, and motivate them to continue studying. Remind them that this will all be worth it, as they will be able to secure a better job after learning proper skills, training and education. Similarly, give them advice on sanitation when you can, especially to girls. Try to organise campaign drives where people these kids come together and you talk to them about sanitation. You could also make it like a fun day camp, and it will surely be interesting for the kids, where they can be treated to free food, entertainment and lots of love and attention!
- Share your meal at your table with them.
You must have seen little kids staring through the window at the people enjoying their burgers and fries. Isn’t it heart breaking? All these kids want is a chance to have a meal on the table and enjoy the sumptuous looking meals (even though it might not be so sumptuous for us). Whenever you see this, please invite them over! Ask them to join you at the table and order food for them. They will never forget this gesture and the joy you see on their faces will help you sleep better at night.
- Turn into tutors, and encourage your friends to follow suit.
It’s time we put our education to good use from an early stage. Rather than just focussing on improving your career prospects, take out time to tutor a homeless kid. In fact, you can get together with your friends and hold tuitions regularly for homeless kids in a neighbourhood to help them do better at school. This will also give you a chance to bond with the kids and understand their lifestyle and needs so that you can take more measures to help them.
- Learn to make little sacrifices, and bring a huge smile on the faces of the homeless.
We all get pocket money, whether it’s a monthly allowance or a weekly allowance, depends from time to time. Start taking out an amount out of it every month, and put in a fund you created just for the sake of these less fortunate children. This teaches you compassion from an early age. Buy one shirt less on your birthday, and use that money to buy a necessary item for a less privileged child.
- Make sure they have the necessities according to the climate.
As responsible and compassionate human beings, we must ensure that we do our level best to make available to these kids, warm clothes and blankets for the harsh winters. Similarly, they should be given shade, should have access to clean drinking water, and glucose solutions in times of those hot summers. Remember you have a roof on your head and an air conditioner that you may use, but these kids might not even have a fan.
- Caution them from becoming victims of crime.
The world can be very dangerous, especially for children who don’t have a safe haven. They are susceptible to becoming victims of sexual offenses, so always remind them that they need to be cautious. Encourage them to talk about any traumatic incident they may have faced in the past. Also, discourage them from choosing the path of relying on criminal activities to make a living.
- Susceptible to trafficking and bonded labour, teach them to be safe.
There are unbelievably cruel forces at work that are looking for exactly the kind of helpless, desperate and lonely targets such as the homeless kids. These kids are often kidnapped, illegally trafficked, sold/traded into bonded labour, or even a worse fate, when girls are sold at brothels. The perils they face daily is unfathomable. They must be told to always be on guard and taught about their rights as free children who must not entertain any bondage labour.
- Be kind.
Most importantly, don’t forget to be kind to these kids. They are living under hardships that they had not planned for. In many cases, they don’t even have elders to look up to for support. It’s unimaginable to think of the harsh conditions under which they live. Sometimes, a tiny gesture of kindness can make their day. Give them a smile, share a chocolate, ask them to join you for tea when it’s cold, ask them about their day and their dreams, and show them the possibility of having a better future. Kindness goes a long way in their character development.
There are children who are facing hardships that they don’t deserve. No child deserves to go to sleep on an empty stomach, with the anxiety over when they will be getting their next meal, and must have shelter above their heads. Every child deserves warmth and comfort, and we should do our bit to make sure that no kid goes without the basic amenities that a human being requires and is entitled to as a free citizen.