11 children left outside Edhi Centre, police stations -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

11 children left outside Edhi Centre, police stations

Pakistan Press Foundation

KARACHI: Over the last two months, people have dropped off 11 underage children at the Edhi centre and police stations in various parts of the city. The children, aged between four and seven, included four siblings.

Most of the children have been dropped off at the North Karachi police station from Sharifabad and Surjani Town. One brother and sister had also been shifted from Hyderabad to Karachi.

Wife of the late philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi, Bilqees Edhi, brought the children to the Mitha Dar Edhi Centre from the one in north Karachi.

Talking to Express News, she said the government must focus on educating people about family planning. “Poverty stricken parents can’t afford to raise their children and so they drop them off at the centre,” she added.

Another factor is that a mother often has to give up her children after the death of her husband in order to remarry. Later in their lives, these children are bound to suffer from psychological issues.

The children left at the Edhi Centre have been identified as Shafiullah, Sameer, Ahmed, Mehmood, Shafi, Ayesha, Sufiyan, Shabana, Umar, Alisha and Sufiyan, while some of them have been brought from the adjoining police stations.

A couple of days ago, a mother left two children at the centre but returned a day later and took them back home. “People don’t submit their CNIC when dropping their kids off as they don’t want to be identified,” said Bilqees.

She said she is carrying her husband’s mission forward as she believes that he is still with us because of his undying humanitarian work.

On Friday a mother also returned and picked up her two sons whom she had left at the centre due to poverty.

Children cry for parents who never return

The abandoned children brought to the Mitha Dar centre keep crying for their parents.

These underage children mingle with other kids but immediately begin wailing when thoughts of their parents cross their minds.

The brother and sister from Hyderabad said that their mother abandoned them in a bazaar and a bystander picked them up and dropped them off at the Edhi Centre.

Rise in abandoned children

This past year witnessed a surge in homeless children with 636 cases reported and most of these children aged between 16 and 18.

According to statistics, 462 of these abandoned children are boys and 174 are girls. Roshni Helpline President Muhammad Ali said that the number of children who got to meet their parents was 445, 331 boys and 114 girls.

He also said that District East had the highest number of missing children, quoting the number to be 143. District South had 112, District West 135, District Central 77, District Malir 94 and 73 in District Korangi.

The Express Tribune