On the streets of Nepal
02/02/2009 - 02/14/2009
These children roam the streets of Kathmandu (the tourist area) regularly as a way to make money for their families. They ask for money “to eat.” They know what they are doing and they do it well. Their parents send them to the streets in the tourist area as their “job” during the day.
They could get different jobs - there is no law against children working as servants in places - I am not exactly sure why they are in the streets.
But the fact is they are poor. And they are hungry. And if you give them food without opening it, they will sell the food for money instead of eating it.
We got out of our cars and walked straight into a Nepali dress shop and the children waited for us at the door, begging for money for food.
When I started taking pictures, they got bashful and hid behind the glass.
I forgot to mention that right before we walked into the shop, I gave my leftovers from a restaurant to another girl who was with them. Instead of sharing it, she took off running in the other direction with the whole bag of food.
That probably explains why they waited at the door... they hoped I would give them more food, I’m sure.
Luckily there were a few in our group with hearts. My mother-in-law (Sue Cook of ATC) walked across the street and bought box drinks, raisins, and pastries for the kids. She opened everything so they couldn’t re-sell them. After opening and handing the drinks to the children, she had to tell them “drink” (in Nepali) before they even put the straw to their lips.
They waved to us as we left them with their food. After we drove off we saw them all sit in a circle sharing their food and taking a break from the begging. We were glad to have given them something to smile about that day.
P.S. The second girl from the right mysteriously re-appeared without the leftovers in her hands anymore. I think she delivered them to her family.