“Sher Khan” was all he replied, shyly when I asked the lad his name. He was selling balloons in the rain, near PDA market in Hayatabad, Peshawar. His attire was different than most of the boys and girls loitering about in the area, selling balloons or just begging for a few rupees. He wore jeans, shirt, jacket and sneakers, and was using a polyethylene sheet as a raincoat. The boy must have been 9 or 10 years old. Sher Khan begged me to buy a balloon from him, which I did and paid him much more than what he asking for. He was happy and smiled at me followed by a “Thank You”. What saddened me was not his appearance, dress or anything else, rather that he was selling balloons in such rough weather. I asked him for a photo and he readily agreed.
I wanted to talk to him and know more about him, because suddenly it saddened me, but he hurriedly ran away. I think he was happy at making so much money.
There are and will be so many children like him who will never get a chance to go to school instead they will be forced to make a living like this. Forget the government for we know what it is capable of, but what can I or you do to help them? I wish there was a way I could have helped such helpless poor and destitute people in a better way instead of just buying balloons from them.