Happy Birthday???

The Four Amigas

Back (L to R): Sheetal, Chokali??, Pravina  Front: Priyanka

I learned something this week that has left me feeling very distressed. I was trying to figure out how old the begging kids that hang around the coffee shop were but was getting nowhere. The language barrier was just to great. I asked a gentleman near me if he could help me find out. After a short bit of exchange between them he told me that they did not know old they were. I was shocked. I had never heard of people in the modern day not knowing their age. Thinking about this renews the heartache I felt when I first learned this information.

It was after learning this distressing news that I began to renew my efforts to befriend them. I make sure I greet them by name when I arrive and say goodbye when I leave. I make sure to smile at them frequently and I take their pictures when they ask me to.  I have begun buying them biscuits when I get my daily tea. I will be buying some apples and bananas for them in the future because the sugar laden biscuits are not the best thing for them (or anyone0. Hopefully, by treating them humanely, I can bring a small bit of light to their lives.

Irene suggested I have a little birthday type event for them. I think that’s a great idea. I just need to find a Marathi speaker to help me communicate with them.

Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3i
Lens: EF-S 18-55mm @ 30 mm
Shutter Speed: 1/20
Aperture: F7.1
Exposure: +1/3 ev

7 thoughts on “Happy Birthday???

  1. Very touching.
    There can be many reasons. I mean there may be many possibilities.
    1. As they may not be going to any school so there is hardly any talk of their age in their homes.
    2. Their parents must be leading tough lives and out of the home most of of the time so there is hardly any talk between children and parents. Whatever talk is their between children ans parents it is not about age. In most likely cases both mother and father would be working somewhere during day time.
    3. In most likely cases all these children are not registered any where. I mean they are not registered in any hospital. This also means that people have no identification. They have no papers. It also means that they will not any government benefit if there is any.
    4 Most of the time and in all likely cases parents are also not educated in any way and in most of the cases, parents are also not likely to know when they were born( basically they have forgotten when the children were born). Parents can just provide a rough idea about their age.
    5. These children spent all there time outside and they don’t yet understand age. May be when they grow a little bit then they would know how old they are.

    There are many more possibilities.


  2. More reasons:

    1. These children are born in slums and in homes and afterwards nobody takes these children to the place where they should get registered.
    2. Parents don’t know the process of registration and so don’t try to get them registered.
    3. There is a chance that registration people will ask for money for getting these children registered, probably too much for these poor people. It is unthinkable to think how some official would want bribe from such poor people but in most of the cases its true.

    Now as I am thinking about more reasons I realize possibly the biggest reason why these children are not likely to be registered any where. This reason is so big that even if the poor parents want to get them registered they will not succeed even if there is no bribe involved.

    The likely reason is this.

    All the parents of these poor people have no papers so simply they can not get the children registered any where. Because of the lack of papers, government official will not be able to do much as in government machinery nothing can be done without papers.

    This can be the biggest reason for the children and their age problem.

    • Thanks for reading and explaining.

      I figured out these kids weren’t going to school a while ago when they were here every time I stopped into CCD. That fact that they don’t know their ages had never dawned on me.

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