NEWS COMMENTARY ON THE MENACE OF STREET BEGGING BY CHILDREN – TITI ADELIYI.

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CHILD-BEGGAR(S) ON MAJOR ROADS ARE DAILY ASSAULTING THE SENSIBILITY OF DECENT NIGERIANS. IN THIS COMMENTARY, TITILOPE ADELIYI OF OUR NEWS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS DIVISION WRITES ON THIS ACT AND PROFERS SOLUTIONS TO THIS GROWING CONCERN. 

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SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE LOCKDOWN ENFORCED BY THE FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS  FOLLOWING THE OUTBREAK OF COVID-19 IN NIGERIA, THE UNDERAGED AS WELL AS OVERAGED CHILDREN HAVE CONTINUED TO BE EXPOSED TO VARIOUS NEGATIVE TENDENCIES, AMONG WHICH, IS THE INCREASING STREET BEGGING BY CHILDREN.

CHILD- BEGGARS ARE CHILDREN BELOW 18 YEARS OF AGE FROM DIVERSE BACKGROUNDS EITHER INDIGENES OR NON INDIGENES, PHYSICALLY OR NON-PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED, THE MENTALLY FRAGILE OR HEALTHY   CHILDREN WITHOUT ANY FORM OF DEFORMITY. THESE CHILDREN ON DAILY BASIS TAKE TO THE  STREETS- BEGGING FOR SURVIVAL, THEREBY SUBJECTING THEMSELVES TO VARIOUS HAZARDS. CERTAINLY, BEGGING UNDER ANY GUISE ,WHETHER FOR MONEY OR FOOD BY CHILDREN IS RISKY, BACAUSE IT EXPOSES THEM TO MANY DANGERS, SUCH AS RAPE, FOR THE GIRL-CHILD, KIDNAPPING, MONEY RITUALS AS WELL AS NUMEROUS HEALTH HAZARDS ARE IMMINENT, ESPECIALLY IN THE FACE OF CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC.

IT IS SADDENING BUT TRUE  THAT CHILD–BEGGARS ARE DIRECT RESULT OF PROVERTY AS  MANY POOR NIGERIANS LIVE FROM HAND TO MOUTH, THEREBY CONVENIENTLY SENDING THEIR CHILDREN TO  STREETS, BANK ENTRANCES, ATM POINTS, EATERIES OR CLUBS TO BEG FOR ALMS FROM PEOPLE WHO PATRONISE SUCH PLACES.

GOING FORWARD, CHILDREN WHO ARE REGARDED AS FUTURE LEADERS MUST NO LONGER BE ALLOWED TO ENGAGE IN BEGGING, WHICH EVIDENTLY PORTRAYS THE SOCIETY, THE PARENTS AND THE GOVERNMENT IN BAD LIGHT. IN THE SAME VEIN, SINCE NO COUNTRY OR ECONOMY CAN MAXIMISE ITS POTENTIALS WITHOUT ADEQUATE ATTENTION  TO THE WELL-BEING OF THE YOUNG ONES, ALL AVENUES MUST BE EXPLORED TO HALT STREET BEGGING BY CHILDREN. FURTHERMORE, THE GOVERNMENTS, PARENTS, GUARDIANS AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS MUST ENSURE THAT EVERY CHILD ENJOYS THE RIGHT TO SURVIVE, AND IS CONSISTENTLY PROTECTED FROM HARMFUL INFLUENCIES, ABUSE OR EXPLOITATION, JUST AS SUCH CHILDREN MUST FULLY PARTICIPATE IN FAMILY, CULTURAL AND SOCIAL LIFE. ABOVE ALL, THE MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS, 2000 AND THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS, 2015 WHICH EFFECTIVELY INCORPORATED SPECIFIC TARGETS RELATING TO CHILDREN, ESPECIALLY WITH REGARD TO THE PROHIBITION OF CHILD BEGGING, MUST HENCEFORTH SERVE AS A FITTING SIGN – POST REMINDING ALL THAT A STICH IN TIME, SAVES NINE.

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THAT COMMENTARY ON CHILD-BEGGAR(S) AND THE NEED TO SQUARELY ADDRESS IT WAS WRITTEN BY TITILOPE ADELIYI.

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