What is gradually degenerating into an uncontrollable menace on Lagos major highways is worrisome enough to trigger an emotional reflections on the futures of less privilege children, helplessly roaming the streets to eke living. Recently, involvements of less privilege children in street begging has become a vocation which is fast becoming a common sight on Lagos streets and highways almost 24 hours daily. It is now some of the misuse plaguing the public open spaces in Lagos state. The worrisome side of this is that it has become the most prevailing form of child labour as every major road now serves as centre of street begging by children mostly below 18 years.
I could not help but weep as children between the ages of 9 to 15 rushed in large number towards my car, spraying a locally made soap water on my car glasses all in the name of dusting off the glasses. These are children with promising future but lacking in adequate care and standard moral upbringings.
Out of sympathy I parked by the road side and call all the children. I inquired from them why they are on the highways and their responses were heartbreaking. I made them aware that I am into voluntary training of less privilege individuals on skills acquisitions through Salamotu Dosumu Skills Acquisitions Foundation. I asked if they will be interested in acquiring any vocational training of their choices and the blossom smiles that accompanied their simultaneous affirmation gladden my heart. They are ever ready to leave the highways and get equip with skills.
In my believe I owe these less privilege an obligation to set them on the pathways to their loft golds. I cannot afford to watch them waste at the mercy of social negligence. I am determine see those kids equip with different skills via the Salamotu Dosumu Skills Acquisitions Foundation. However, taking those less privilege children off the highways is not a task that should rest squarely on the shoulder of an individual or group alone. It is a collective responsibility in which Lagos state government under the stewardship of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has the highest state. Having those children on the streets equally contradict Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s change mantra and development plans in the state. Salamotu Dosumu Skills Acquisitions Foundation is therefore living its doors wide open for Lagos state government, agencies, humanitarian groups, philanthropists, donors and social groups to contribute their own quotas through sponsorship and donations to the accomplishment of this tasking responsibility.
Those less privilege children on the highways are like every other children entitle to equity of access to resources necessary for a comfortable and happy standard of living that respects the sanctity and rights of each child of our community.
Alhaja Idowu Rosulu Shakirat
CEO, Salamotu Dosumu Skills Acquisitions Foundation.