Save the Children - Fawad's Story

Photo Credit: CJ Clark / Save the Children

*name changed to protect identity

Fawad* is 5 years old, and lives in Delhi. He spends most days with his big brother, Nadim*, who’s 8, and little sister, Mehak*, who’s 3, in a shelter for children who don’t have homes. Their father is blind – he can’t work and begs in the local area with their mother.

Fawad used to go rag-picking with Nadim, but they stopped two months ago after their parents told them that they didn’t need to anymore, and they should spend their time in the shelter and at school instead. He now spends a lot of his time in the shelter, playing with friends and in non-formal education classes.

Save the Children supports and funds partners who run the shelter. The shelter provides a safe space for children to sleep, as well as providing food, clothing and non-formal education to children. The shelter is a place for children to learn, play and grow together, providing daily meals, toys and games. It also gives children an environment to do school homework and learn in a non-formal environment.

“I like TV and everything else. I learnt to write numbers in the shelter,” says Fawad. “Before, I didn’t know how to write this (*points to a letter in he has drawn in the sand*) but now I know how. She (Fawad’s teacher) taught me to do it. Now I can.

“I have learnt it on my own. I don’t know how to write my name, a lot of other kids here can write their name. Nadim is teaching me the letter ‘a’ but he says I have to practice it myself.

“I want to learn how to draw a heart and how to colour it in.”

Fawad’s favourite thing to do is watch cartoons - his favourite being Super Bheem. Fawad’s world is full of the lions and tigers that feature the cartoon; his life in a busy marketplace mixes in his mind with the epic battles and adventures that take place on screen.

“I sometimes get scared of lions and dogs, but not elephants,” says Fawad. “The lion runs away when he sees an elephant. I have seen it too in the market. There were two lions, both got beaten up by the elephant but the elephant doesn’t bleed. The lion has a big beard , I’ve seen it, it’s real.

“It’s all real what I’ve seen. This is Super Bheem (points to his t-shirt). He has four friends. He also has a mother, a father. There is a king and a princess. There was an episode when there was two princesses, a real one and a fake one. There is a god Shiva who helps Super Bheem fight monsters. When Super Bheem becomes Super Bheem he can fly – because of magic.”

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