An encounter with glue-sniffing kids

They were three and they took me for a foreigner. They asked for money. I pretended that I did not understand what they said — as usual.

Glue sniffing is rampant among street kids in Kathmandu

Glue sniffing is rampant among street kids in Kathmandu.

Hiding a polythene bag (of milk) filled with glue in a handkerchief, they were inhaling it–  which is more popularly known as dendrite — on the running public bus  this afternoon.

The smell was nauseating.

None of the passengers reacted, at least vocally. Or, even if they did, I did not hear. I tried to control my breath, and spit two or three times due to intolerable pungent smell. Gosh! What do they get from it?

One of the guys had a tube of glue and some money in  his pocket, which he tried to hide after noticing that I was taking their photograph. When the conductor asked them for the bus fare, they paid without any defiance. (Street kids in Kathmandu are notorious for their anarchic style though.)

While getting off the bus at Airport, one of them left their stuff on the seat. After a few minutes, the leader like big chap came back and collected it. All of them were inhaling glue to get a high on.

Glue-sniffing is rampant among urchins in Kathmandu.  Call it peer pressure  or imitation or the temptation to feel good from the high, they get into the addiction at a tender age. What is more, the slow poison is easily available in the market and retailers do not hesitate to sell it to the “small-fries” for easy money! I don’t know the number of street kids in the Capital Valley but where ever I go I see them carrying polythene bag or bottle filled with glue and sniffing it. Without knowing the devastating consequences including weight loss, weak immunity and sudden death, they regularly resort to glue-sniffing — probably thinking that they can ward off their hunger, pain, despair and suffering.

Does any body care?

For most of the NGOs, street kids have been a machine to milk money from donors. Or, are they doing something substantial to curb the social evil?

It would be but futile to expect the hapless government doing for the kids who have been considered as political insignificant lots. Cannot we — the responsible citizens — do anything for them?

Turning a blind eye to this may inflict a big loss to the society. There are some sporadic reports that school kids also have “tried” it. Who knows your kids who live with you or under your aegis may one day learn to sniff it from the urchins!


11 comments on “An encounter with glue-sniffing kids

  1. Pingback: Pat

    • yes. it’s irony that the issue of street kids has been taken for fund raising only. they should be sent to rehab. government and responsible citizens should take care of them in whatever possible way.

  2. Pingback: An encounter with glue-sniffing kids « My world, my perspective Mobile

  3. Keshav dhai,

    You raised a very important point about the rapacious NGOs exploiting the plight of these kids. I remember watching a documentary on our national television many years back showing kids of different ages on the streets of Durbar Margh engaging in fights under the influence of these easily available glues; it is a pity that they are left with no choice other than to sniff them in order to numb their pain, be it physical or mental. Substance abuse is an escape from whatever you are running from, and for these kids it is the way life has treated them, as we can make out from their stories, step father abusing them, being made to work like a mule every day, being deprived of education and so on. So keshav dhai they get nothing out of it. But back to the main point, in Nepal dollar kheti is as rampant as street kids sniffing glues. It seems like they are symbiotic which is a pity.

    • Yes, Rigzin. It’s matter of shame. Except on paper and to cheat the donors, none has done anything.

      Kids are gullible and without knowing its toxic effects they learn to inhale glue from their peers and seniors. I question myself: Isn’t there anyone to stop them from taking to the poison?

      I wish there were many REGGIE PORTERs as in the The Basketball Diaries to try to help JIM CAROLLs get out addiction.

  4. Pingback: SSM

  5. glue sniffing addiction is not only restricted to street urchins, but has also spread to the youth regardless of their socio-economic status. Unawareness among the youth regarding the serious consequences of this addiction urges them to “try it out” with peers. it should be brought to the notice of all to restrain this growing menace.

  6. But some of the NGOs have tried really hard for the street children shake.But they were unable to do that.
    no one can change the condition of the sufferer if the sufferer is not willing to.these children are used to this type of free life.
    they don’t want to be a part of society..
    the worst part is they are attracting school children to follow their life.

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