Alone in the world
Babloo (Bhacha Singh) knows plenty about beatings. The pudgy, brown-eyed boy from the foothills of the Himalayas becomes unreliably murky when he talks about dates, but he thinks he ran away from home at age 8 or 9.
He stole 200 rupees and boarded a bus for a town he later found out was Ghaziabad. There Babloo worked two years for no pay at a tea shop, receiving food in return and sleeping outdoors. If he spilled tea or broke a cup, the owner pummeled him.
Sickened by his life and alone in the world, the boy coaxed a bus driver into taking him to nearby Delhi, where Babloo, now 18, joined one of the largest concentrations of working children in the world--an estimated 400,000, of whom 100,000 live on the streets, often alongside homeless parents.
They must work to survive—carrying on as coolies, collecting rags, shining shoes, selling newspapers, scavenging on rubbish dumps. Many also turn to crime.