Hundreds of thousands of children live on the streets of Bangladesh’s capital, many of them clustered around the railway stations. They work as rubbish pickers or station porters, earning just enough to eat, and sleeping on makeshift beds in and around the station. They are vulnerable to disease, subjected to beatings and a target for traffickers. It’s a precarious existence.
Even though danger is everywhere, few admit to feeling scared. They won’t talk about the beatings, the risks - they affect bravado and refuse to bite the hands that feed. Many even say they enjoy life on the streets.
Yet when you ask them what they think about the future, they say they only think of today.
Perhaps they don’t see what lies ahead. Perhaps they just try to ignore the narrow life that awaits them. The monosyllabic teenagers, eyes glazed from sniffing glue. The boys who spend their days wandering the fringes of the station – whole lifetimes spent drifting from one railway station to another, without ever really going anywhere.
This is the story of the children who are left behind. The children who have no dreams of tomorrow.