KABUL (Pajhwok): Many children say if they become president, establishing schools and paying more attention to security will be their top priority.
More than half of children are not familiar with the celebration of their birthdays, but most of them say they will invite friends to take part in the party.
Pajhwok Afghan News spoke to 100 children aged between nine and 16 in 26 provinces of the country on their priorities and future plans.
Children from Kabul, Farah, Jawzjan, Badghis, Parwan, Sar-i-Pul, Samangan, Panjsher, Kunduz, Logar, Paktia, Zabul, Takhar, Balkh, Khost, Kapisa, Kunar, Laghman, Kandahar, Nangarhar Ghazni, Maidan Wardak, Herat, Bamyan, Badakhshan and Daikundi were interviewed.
Each of the interviewees was asked three questions: “What will you do if you become president? Do you know birthday? If you celebrate your birthday, who will you invite?
Of every 10 children, three said if they become president, they would set up schools. Similarly, one in 10 prioritised maintaining security. Similarly one promised helping the poor. Three in 10 did not know what they would do while the rest said they would create jobs, serve children and establish recreational parks.
Asked what they would do on becoming president, most of disabled children said they would improve security. Child labourers say they will help the poor. Begging minors listed the creation of jobs as a priority. Most of school students say they will set up schools.
Shizar a 10-year-old girl from the Pul-i-Artel area of Kabul, said: “If I become president, I will establish schools so that girls and boys can study, learn and do good things…”
Like all Afghans, she has her own idea about securing the country and says in an innocent tone: “I’m scared of blasts. If I become president, I’ll put an end to explosions.”
Of the 10 children interviewed, one said he/she would never become president.
Abid, a 14-year-old resident of the Baraki Rajan area of Baraki Barak district of Logar province, works in his father’s shop. He said: “Children of the poor can never become president. I urge the president to improve living conditions for the poor.”
Familiarity with birthday
Six of every 100 respondents did not know birthday, with four saying they are familiar with it. All of the four interviewed in Laghman, three in Jawzjan, Kunduz, Logar and Kandahar, two each in Farah, Sar-i-Pul, Zabul Nangarhar, Maidan Wardak, Herat, Badakhshan, Bamyan and Daikundi and one each in Kabul, Parwan, Panjsher, Balkh, and Kapisa say that they are familiar with birthday.
But in Badghis, Samangan, Paktia, Takhar, Khost, Kunar and Ghazni, all interviewees say they do not know what birthday is.
Mohammad Naveed, 12, a student of 6th class from Charikar, the capital of Parwan province, says the celebration of birthday is not common in his area. He does not want to have such a celebration.
Rabia, 16, a resident of Deh Afghanan in Kabul, says: “Every year, my parents celebrate my birthday. I invite my friends and celebrate it with great joy. We celebrate the birthday of every member of our family.”
Children love age-group friends
The statistics show half of the interviewees responded to a question if they are celebrating their birthday, they will invite close friends first. One of the children named his close friend.
Of every 10 children, five said they would invite their relatives (father, cousin, uncle and sister). One said he would invite his teacher to his birthday bash.
Jamil, a12 years old from Shiberghan who lost his parents to the war and now begging along with his little sister, says he knows birthday. But there is no one to arrange such a party for him.
While begging in the city, he was asked what he would do if he celebrated his birthday. “If my dream comes true, I would like to invite my sister, four of my friends begging on the road; they also have the same wish.”
As World Children’s Day is celebrated in various countries of the world, Afghan children have been unable to realise their innocent like celebrating birthday.
Reports say a large number of Afghan children are in danger, about 3 million deprived of education services. Some are forces to do hard labour and become victim of the ongoing conflict.