Pappu – Story of a Street Child

Jan 16, 2012 by     No Comments    Posted under: Act Of Kindness

After a long day of work at a mechanic’s shop, a little boy loiters around aimlessly on his way home. He passes by many small shops, with people hustling in and out to buy things. He notices a man in crisp white shirt and black trousers buying a dozen samosas at a confectionery. His stomach grumbles, his mouth waters and his eyes brim up with dreams that will never come true. His name is Pappu.

Pappu is a nine-year-old boy who lives in the slums of Landhi Town, Karachi. He belongs to a low-income family. His father is a rickshaw-driver and his mother works as a maid to earn some extra money. Pappu loves spending time with his friends, playing Qanchay (marbles), Patti (foosball) and Dabbu (carom board). He also loves to scare cats and pick up fights. Pappu, a very sharp kid, has learned the tricks of survival at a very young age. He’s doomed to live a life of a street child.

According to an interview published in July 2011 in Dawn News, Iqbal Ahmed Detho, the regional manager in Sindh of the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC), suggested that the number of street children in Karachi is estimated to be no less than 80,000. Iqbal Kazmi, a representative of the Human Rights Commission for South Asia, mentioned in a petition submitted to the Sindh High Court in 2011 that as many as 32,500 street children in the city had been forced to become sex workers, beggars or indulge in child labor. These numbers are still increasing and to stop them from accelerating, clearly a Moajzaa (miracle) is needed.

Moajzaa is a social enterprise that aims to bridge the social gaps and help Pakistan become a better place to live in. A group of Pakistani students from Institute of Business Management (IoBM) founded this non-profit organization back in February 2010 to educate underprivileged children who are the living victims of child labor. Pappu is their mascot character that symbolizes the life of many impoverished street children. It represents children who have no or little access to quality education.

The dreamers of Moajzaa are no WHO or Save the Children, but they expect to have every little mind smelling the air of a modern classroom, to find a goal and build their self-esteem. In order to keep their mission running, they make and sell products like t-shirts, notepads and notebooks etc. to spread a word about Pappu and instill the feeling of being a Good Samaritan in all Pakistanis who come forward to help. Their newest development is the Kachee Goliyan comics, through which they aim to make a wider audience and a larger number of supporters, especially among the Pakistani youth. They have so far helped in putting three kids in a school and are supporting four more little endeavors to keep their education continuing. Some of these kids among the children are of a maid and a driver that the founders of Moajzaa personally knew.

Moajzaa also supports Manzil Foundation, a non-profit organization, that runs charity-funded schools. Moajzaa has a Facebook page with the name of Pappu. They have around 23,000 members and the organization is thriving to prove itself by assembling more and more people to save the lives of many Pappus in Karachi.

It is true that nobody can do everything but everyone can do something. What every Pakistani child needs is a head start – a head start on education to build a better future and change Pakistan. These dedicated citizens have successfully executed their first step towards the larger dream but they need all kinds of support to make “the change” everyone enjoys to talk about.

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