Published:  03:11 AM, 16 April 2019 Last Update: 06:55 PM, 16 April 2019

The way street children celebrated Baishakh

The way street children celebrated Baishakh Speakers raise their voice for the rights of street children at a program at Mirpur Martyr Intellectuals Graveyard premises on Sunday. -Imran Ali

Several hundreds of street children of the capital celebrated Pahela Baishakh with great enthusiasm on Sunday. They joined in different cultural programs at the at Mirpur Shahid Buddhijibi Graveyard (Martyr Intellectuals Graveyard) premises on Sunday (April 14).

A social campaign against commercial sexual exploitation of street children was held through Pahela Baishakh program. The street children brought out a colorful Baishakhi rally (Mongol Shovajatra) which started from Martyr Intellectuals Graveyard premise gate and ended at the same place after parading Mazar Road via Mirpur Shah Ali Mazar.

Social and Economic Enhancement Program (SEEP) organized the event under Combating Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CCSEC) Project. After rallying a discussion was held where two representatives of street children and invited guests addressed among others.

Later a cultural program was also held in the venue. Pahela Baishakh or Bangla Noboborsho is the first day of Bengali year. People from all walks of life come out to hail the occasion with warmth, color and festivities.

But, what is about the street children? We often see them effete on such occasions. There are very few kind hearts who think and work for the street children. SEEP is one of those organizations who work for these underprivileged kids.

Hundreds of street children started Pahela Baishakh with a colorful rally in the city. After that they took part in a cultural program organized by SEEP. They enjoyed every bit of it. One of the street children, Mukta, 12, said: "We are very happy as we could attend such program. I am enjoying the cultural show very much. I wish I could attend more cultural events like this one."

Another child, Jiad, 10, told The Asian Age that they are getting many helps from this organization. I will never forget this year's Pahela Baishakh celebration, he added.Mahmudul Kabir, Country Director, Bangladesh of Terre des Hommes Netherlands, said: "Every child is important to us. Street children should not be treated as street kids. They have every right to enjoy their childhood. We are working to ensure their rights."

Md. Abu Taher, councilor of 10 No. ward of Mirpur-1 was the chief guest while Md. Fazlul Haque Choudhury, Executive Director of SEEP chaired the program.  Mahmudul Kabir, Country Director, Bangladesh of Terre des Hommes Netherlands, Ehsanul Hoque Program Specialist-Child Protection, Terre des Hommes Netherlands and Terre des Hommes Netherlands also spoke as the special guests in the program. 

Shohidul Islam, Technical Manager, of CCSEC Project described about the project while Manotosh Kumar Madhu, Project Consortium Leader (PCL) of CCSEC gave the welcome speech.  CCSEC project is a consortium initiative of Terre des Hommes Netherlands started on January 1, 2016. The project aims to contribute to the elimination of commercial sexual exploitation of children in Bangladesh with a fund of the European Union.

With technical support of Terre des Homes Netherlands Bangladesh, the project is being implemented in collaboration with Social and Economic Enhancement Program (SEEP), Breaking the Silence (BTS) and Society for Social Services (SSS). The working areas of the project are Dhaka North City Corporation and Tangail Sadar Upazilla, Tangail district.

SEEP serves the Secretariat role to implement CCSEC. SEEP set up two Drop in-Centers in Mirpur for providing holistic services to the children exposed to commercial sexual exploitation and at risk children. Breaking the Silence (BTS) provides psychosocial care to the children. And, Society for Social Services (SSS) runs a full-fledged shelter home for the rescued children by providing them a comprehensive holistic care.

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