We can see lots of street kids basically homeless children roaming in our city. These kids stay in groups. They come to city in search of better life as most of them come from remote areas of Nepal. The places from where they come have less opportunity. The other reason they come to city is because they are driven out form their house by their step mother or some other family related problems. After they reach the city many try to get work, the lucky ones get jobs at tea shops as a helper, as bus or tempo or micro bus conductors and luckier one are kept as a house workers and helpers.
What about the unlucky ones?
The unlucky ones are forced to sleep on the street, run towards dumping site to collect plastic, glass bottles which they collect and sale to scrap shop to earn some money and kill their hunger. They are not always lucky enough to make money out of such dumps to kill their hunger. They are forced to beg or get into pick pocketing. Sometimes, they fight among each other and steal friends’ money but still they are seen together walking around corners of Kathmandu’s streets. We can even see them begging, especially with the tourist as they know most of Nepalese people won’t give them a single paisa.
Now-a-days, we can see that these street kids have developed a new kind of addiction. Their addiction is towards the odor that comes from some adhesive which are mostly used in making leather shoes. In Nepal they are commonly known as “Dendrite” by the name of the company that produces them.
Boys with adhesive in mineral water bottle and a plastic bag
I met few such kids and questioned them why they want to take such smell of adhesive. They simply replied me that it gives them pleasure. They get stoned with suck odor; they get relief from their hunger, pain and other unpleasant things they come across in their daily life.I don’t know what kind of pleasure they get from such odor of adhesive nor do I have any idea what impact such odor will create in their health.
One question that comes in my mind is who taught them to take such odor and get pleasure or get stoned? How did they learn all about such addiction?
These street kids are also part of our society; they don’t have good guidance of their parents or elders that is why they are forced to live such a poor very low standard life. What I think is every person is born with his/her own specialty with which he/she can contribute something good for this society. So it will be our great contribution to the society if we can help these kids to get rid of such bad habits, give them proper guidance and some formal vocational training or even if they are interested to study then good education to them so that they can work and earn on their own with their heads up. I am sure they have some potential to contribute to the society and help in the progress of nation.
Updated on December 27, 2007
Fact Sheet on Glue Sniffing Among Street Children in Nepal
- According to CWIN estimation there are 5000 street children in Nepal and around 400 – 600 are based in the Kathmandu Valley.
- CWIN Research on Alcohol and Drug Use among Street Children in Nepal, 2001 has shown that between 25 and 90 per cent of street children use substance of one kind or other.
- Glue sniffing is relatively new trend in Nepal. It is fast becoming an addiction among street children in Kathmandu. The current prevalent of glue sniffing is 51.7% among street children in the Kathmandu Valley. 19.7% have started using glue two years ago, 34.4 % started a year ago and 27.9% started just few months back.
- Glue sniffing is taken as a ‘debut’ drug by street children. Mostly street children begin drug-taking by glue sniffing and end up on other, more hard-core, drugs.
- Street children, who do not even smoke or drink alcohol often sniff glue.
- In general, the main short-term effects reported by the responding children were hallucinations. Its ill effects have resulted in problematic behavior, self-destruction due to hallucinations and fighting amongst friends.
- The reasons given by the users for sniffing were low self-esteem, an inferiority complex and having enough pocket money to buy this substance.
- Children also use glue because it is cheap and easily available.
- Most of the harmful effects of Glue Sniffing are found to be related to the brain and the Nervous System. 63.9 % have reported one or other kind of illness as long term effects of glue sniffing.
- Even among non-users almost all the children knew about glue sniffing. In the group of non-users a majority (85%) have seen their friends sniffing glue.
- Glue sniffing can be termed as ‘group activity’ among street children. 95.1% children use glue with friends. 77% use glue in peer influence and 60.7% children sniff glue daily.
(Source: CWIN Survey on Glue Sniffing Among Street Children in the Kathmandu Valley, 2002)