Abdul Khaliq Charkhandaz
Children all around the world laugh and through their joy, make others around them more positive and full of hope. This phenomenon is no different when it concerns the children of Baluchistan. They are the prime asset for the future in an impoverished Baluchistan society, and seeing their joy in the midst of hardship and poverty makes the life of Baluch people more bearable .
Baluchistan is a land of duality and contradictions, a land full of beauty and ugliness. A land rich in pristine and breathtaking beauty. It is also covered in deprivation and all those beauties have disappeared under its ominous shadow. This duality has also inserted itself into the beautiful world of Baluch children, and how their smiles disappear under the same shadow of deprivation.
Innocent children who do not yet have a proper understanding of what they possess and do not possess in life. When they are sacrificed – by drowning in ponds – or caught in the clutches of crocodiles, they realize the absence of a basic necessity such as water. They understand the value of their father’s hard earned bread when their father is shot to the sound of a gun. They picture school as a simple mud hut devoid of any facilities.
Baluch children are the most deprived in Iran, and perhaps one of the most deprived in the world in terms of educational facilities. In many areas, children are even deprived of the regular mud hut schools which cannot protect the children from the heat, children have to endure fifty degree heat of Baluchistan and after years of enduring such conditions they drop out of school. Some of the reasons for school drop outs include lack of school capacity for further education, long distances between home and school and economic hardship. From an early age, these children become adults.
In Baluchistan, thousands of children are unable to attend school every year due to lack of identity cards or are deprived of educational opportunities due to lack of educational facilities. Thousands of other children and adolescents drop out of school due to their families’ economic hardship. While the number of child laborers is increasing each day, others are involved in child marriages. The result of all of this is a golden childhood denied. The pain of a lost childhood will forever remain with them. In order to have a dynamic and successful society in Baluchistan,the beauty of childhood must be returned to the children of this land and a chance be given in their formative years .