Tuesday, August 26, 2008


When asked to imagine children between the age-group of 3 to 10 yrs, the image that crosses our minds is that of robust and healthy children bubbling with energy in their carefree lives, without any tensions of the outside world. But there exists reality outside out imagination, which we all are aware of but hardly pay any attention to.
Welcome to the world of Street Performers!! While on one hand we crib about being stuck in traffic jams and caught up on traffic lights in our air-conditioned cars, there are those on the other hand whose daily breads depends on there sessions. Dozens of children armed with miniature dholes and sticks flock Siri Fort crossing right from 10 in the morning till 5 in the evening, displaying their ‘talents’ in front of any interested onlooker. They come from as far as Patel Nagar and commute using buses and local trains. They have been in this business for the past 4-5 years, although they themselves are just 7-8 yrs old!
Kalpana(3yrs) and Chand (7yrs) have grown up to follow the footsteps of their elder brothers and accompany them each day to work. Originally inhabitants of Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh, they have migrated to Delhi and resumed life at a pace different from that of their parents, who work as farmers back in the villages. They are not concerned with education and studies never interested them, although these opportunities are not denied to them. “Mera chhota bhai Arjun 4 saal ka hai. Woh gaaon mei padh raha hai” (my younger brother Arjun, 4 years old, is studying in the village.)- informs Sajju, an 8year old who knows nothing except of performing on streets and enjoys the freedom he gets in this ‘profession’. In their growing up years when children need maximum nourishment, these kids survive on a packet of fruits that they carry with them each day. The money that they earn (roughly Rs.100 to Rs.150 per day is the combined earning) goes mainly into sustaining them and purchasing food.
They are often chased by policemen to vacate the place, but they resume their work as soon as the uniformed men are out of vicinity. On one occasion, several of them had been kept in the police station for a whole day but were released in the evening, without any demand for money.
These children do this without even thinking about it. Performing on streets comes as naturally to them as breathing. This is their way of life, and this is their childhood- lost according to us, new found according to them!
Compiled By:
Mishika Singh and Ishita Dasgupta


ishita-dasgupta said...

oye! maine bhi yehi kiya!! :P
hav a luk at my version 2...n lets send both of dem 2 d journalismknc id 2day..

anty_anand said...

Hey, really nicely done. Esp with the photos.

Mishika said...

@ishita:nice. read yours. its quite well written. n iv mailed mine.
@antara:thanks.n i love the pictures.

truemate said...

hmm atlast i liked something.. gud article :)

but dear takeing pics with poor children and shareing is normal and its happeing in india everywherw as usual,,but did u adopt any child ? i mean some financial or education help.. something like that ?