My Birthday? I don’t know the year of my birth

He stands by the road, selling pieces of coconut. When asked how much money he makes, he replies ” Sometimes enough to sleep on a full stomach.” He’s like many others, who have to fend for themselves from an early age. He has younger siblings and parents who can not support them. He’s uneducated and underfed. His dreams are of going to New Delhi and trying to set up a small business there. His fear is falling ill and not being able to earn his daily bread. When asked about his birthday, he said “Birthdays are celebrated by those with enough food to eat and some security that they will eat the next day, regardless of whether they can earn that day. I don’t even know the year of my birth, I think I’m between 17-22 years of age.”

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One says a silent prayer for him and others like him. Is the solution the right to education, eradication of illiteracy, family planning with less children per family, a minimum stipend to all children born, free food for all ? The brain refuses to comprehend this is happening today…..


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