The right of a child to clean drinking water

The swelling heat, burning the skin, blistering the mind.

The young boy stands up, sighing weary, unsure of his bearings. He’s completely unsure of his surroundings, the extreme elements has disorientated his senses.  His legs feel wobbly, mainly due to his lack of nutrients, but his stubbornness compels him forward, forces his limbs to react.

The boy, a mere lad of 8 years, is a survivor of the urban jungle, surrounded by impressive super structures that defy gravity, towering to the heavens. The boy, stands defiantly, upright, compelled by thirst. He rewards himself a weak, crooked smile, not caring about the glances from those who had initially ignored him.

He walks, his thighs balancing his moves, each step reminding him of his purpose, for that minute, that goal that he has to fulfill. The t-junction doesn’t stop him, despite the dangers of heavy vehicles zooming past, murderously. The boy shakes his head, clearing his thoughts, he only had one a minute ago. Taking a deep breath, he pushes himself, dodging the insanity of the traffic. Adrenaline, pumping, he feels confident; he needs to reach his destination, he has to.

The back lane, suffocating with garbage, hides a rusted steel pipe. An obscene piece of metal, sticking out from a sore thumb from the filth. A broken water pipe. The boy, smiles at the pipe, a smile shared for trusted friends. A smile of hope and friendship. He drags himself across the lane, falls to his weakened knees and lowers his head. Towards the dirty water, trickling down from the dented metal.

The boy, a street kid, a survivor of the hellish city jungle, has found his goal of the day. The water that seeks to quench his thirst, to flood his empty hungry stomach. The dirty, tainted water, that gives him strength, an extension of his life. This dirty water is his friend for the day.

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The right of a child to clean drinking water –> And we take this right for granted every day.

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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