Afghan youths struggle for survival

Updated: 2014-08-13 07:42

By Xinhua in Kabul (China Daily)

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"Do you need a car washer? Do you need a car washer?" This was the voice of Rashid, an 8-year-old Afghan boy, as he roamed around the streets of Kabul in search for work to support his family.

This might be unusual and unbelievable for people living in developed or even less-developed countries to have a young boy work to support his family, but in the militancy-plagued Afghanistan, it is not uncommon.

If you take a stroll around Kabul and other Afghan cities, you will notice the dismal living conditions of the marginalized citizens of Afghanistan, particularly the young, as they struggle for daily existence, doing odd jobs for people just to survive.

"In the morning I go to school, but in the afternoon I work as car cleaner to earn some money to support my family and also for my school expenses," Rashid told Xinhua.

Rashid said that his father was killed by a suicide bomb attack about two years ago and since then he and his brother have been working in order to support their family.

Afghan youths struggle for survival

He said that his brother is a shoeshine boy and earns more than what he gets as a car cleaner.

Thousands of people, mostly civilians, have been killed during the military forces operations against the Taliban and in the continuous suicide attacks and ambushes by the militants who want to regain control of the country.

In war-torn Afghanistan, the conflicts and Taliban-led militancy claim the lives of people, including children and women, on a daily basis.

A suicide attack in Kabul on Sunday left at least five people dead and 35 injured, including several parents and children, according to the officials.

A couple of weeks ago, a group of armed militants, believed to be Taliban insurgents, had shot dead 16 men and women, leaving several children orphaned in central Ghor province. The children who are left are forced to work for survival and to feed their families.

While politicians in the country are still embroiled in a political struggle - on who would run the country after Hamid Karzai - thousands of Afghan children, like Rashid, are in a different kind of struggle, a struggle for survival under a cruel and harsh environment.