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The Almajiri -Where Are Their Parents?

The Almajiri

by A. A. Ayama

Where are their parents? That should be the next logical question I would have expected the photographer to ask these kids.

There seems to be a growing ‘sympathy fatigue’ and wearing-out effect of what is seemingly an endless ’emotional blackmail’ of citizens over the Kid Almajiri phenomenon in the North!

The religious, societal, and cultural expectations that it’s the responsibility of society to train, feed and educate this crop of child beggars is gradually eroding from the psyche of everyday people who are also facing economic and social challenges of how to fend for themselves and their own families.

If care is not taken and attention is refocused on throwing back the responsibilities of taking care of these kids back to their parents, we may wake up one day to find them dropping off dead on our streets due to hunger and diseases. (God forbid)

Social policy initiators and developmental economic scholars such as your good self must redirect the debate to a new direction in order to influence the government to initiate policies that channel the burden of their welfare away from the larger society and back to their parents using policies and laws, that will incorporate a carrot and stick approach to solving this unending problem.

The present approach of using sentiments based on religious obligations and societal responsibility is not working and has clearly failed.

The Almajiri phenomenon, in my opinion, is begging for a new approach, starting yesterday…


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