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banner Friday, 16 November, 2001, 19:00 GMT
The producer of the programme, Jane Gabriel, reports below on what has happened to the children featured since the making of the programme:

Suraj and Amin


Suraj and Amin have been selling their tea for three weeks now and after the incredible excitement of the first day, when they sold 42 cups at three rupees each, they are beginning to get into a routine.

Both boys have managed to establish a good working relationship with other street vendors and now have a few regular customers.


They still do their daily work of bottle collecting and rag picking until the Butterflies Tea Express is really settled.

Suraj and Amin would like to get a Chai Express Cooperative established in the long run which would include other sellers, improving the boys' income and giving them more chance of attending lessons informally.

A week after we finished filming Suraj was badly beaten while he was rag picking, in an unprovoked attack, by a policeman. A complaint was lodged with the Juvenile Welfare Board and an enquiry is underway.

Reju and Anuj

The Night Shelter which was closed so suddenly without warning is closed forever. The local government allowed the boys into another, much smaller shelter further away from where they rag pick and where Raju and Anuj go to school.


The boys are trying to get a health cooperative off the ground - they call it their "drug bank" and it's a collection of basic drugs they all need from time to time. Two doctors from government hospitals have agreed to give them free samples of medicines.

The idea is to have a small emergency supply that they can use because when they do go to hospital they are routinely turned away, partly because they do not have addresses and partly because of the prevailing attitude towards them - that they are a nuisance.and some how undeserving.

United Nations Commission on Human Rights

On November 20th India will celebrate the anniversary of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

Suraj and the other boys have written up their views and requests for what would help them to get an education - they have invited the Speaker of the Parliament to come to hear their thoughts. They are now waiting to see if they get a response.

The girls in Bangalore

The girls in Bangalore are still trying to find an office which will accept their letter about the awful water situation in their slum.

Sarassa, head of the girls' collective in Bangalore

They are being endlessly passed from one office to another but are not going to give up.

They too have been discussing education and in conversation with APSA - the charity which helps them - they are preparing a paper.

This will set out what kind of "school" would fit their needs, given that they still have to work both at home and outside.

Whose life is it anyway?: Sunday 19th November 2001 at 1915 on BBC Two

Reporter: Sue Lloyd-Roberts
Producer: Jane Gabriel
Deputy Editor: Farah Durrani
Editor: Fiona Murch

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