Where there are schools, only the luckiest and richest can afford to attend. Poverty keeps the rest away. Even the children of loving families are stretched to attend. Children are needed to work. To fetch water, collect fuel, tend animals. Of those children aged between 6 and 14, 60% are engaged in work.
Though many schools are now within walking distance of most villages, actual attendance is low.
In a society where more than 50% of Nepal’s cute and charming little children are undernourished- and 15% are clinically malnourished- the fact that only 13% of boys and 3% of girls finish secondary school is of relative unimportance.
Most children come from big families anyway. The culture and lack of birth control ensure this. Children are an economic resource, an investment for old age…if they survive their infancy.
Small wonder many drift to the big city and end up on the streets of Kathmandu, prey to TB and malnutrition, contaminated food and foul drinking water -and maybe the exploitation of fellow man. There is no safety net, only vulnerability.
Help from outside sources is a slender chance.
Children of Kathmandu