To begin with, let me familiarize the readers with the reality.
The poor children enjoy playing cricket, football, volleyball and many other outdoor activities just like their counterparts from well to do families.
A few of them are quite innovative in terms of finding solutions, like identifying play areas. They decide upon uneven grounds, municipal parks, streets or even sea beaches. The sporting activities carry on during mornings, evenings or sometimes in the afternoons.
The corpus is provided by their own meagre contributions.
They manage with worn out, repaired or altered clothes and live in hovels in the name of shelters.
They survive on food either provided by their families or purchased by their own paltry incomes. The source of income could be attendants’ jobs at roadside dhabhas, sales jobs at traffic lights or casual labour jobs.
The education up to primary level being free, a few pass exams and manage to go even to colleges. Reference books in the public or institutional libraries are their main resources. By doing part time jobs, family members’ contribution, scholarships help a few bright ones to complete their college education.
Now let’s go back to the main subject.
Among the biggest problems which they face in the society, I think the top would be “Discrimination”.
Whenever there is a question of inviting their class fellows’ home, they feel inferior because even if their well-off counterparts do not say it, they make them feel small because of their poor living conditions.
If they distinguish by topping in the class, some mean teachers publicly remind them about their lowly background.
A few of their class fellows ridicule them, because they can’t afford the luxury goods.
I think second from the top problem would be, “Sanitation and Healthcare.”
The poor living conditions, unavailability of potable water leads to many diseases like diarrhea, typhoid, dengue, malaria and chikungunya among poor children.
The sicknesses result into absenteeism from the schools, loss of income and many more hardships.
The poor also play an important role in the nation building. We should do our best to help them in their journey from the stage of deprivation to becoming a major resource.