Our Nigeria News Magazine
The news is by your side.

Almajiri Is Also A Child

Almajiri Is Also A Child

By: Abdullahi Ahmad Bamalli

To call a spade a spade, the future does not belong to all children but all children belong to the future.

A hand fetches food directly from a plate, but it doesn’t get satisfied, rather it is the stomach of another that gets satisfied. It is in this case that children who are supposed to have a future are limited by certain laws of a few countries of the world.

There is supposed to be unison in rights, freedom and academic pursuits of every child all over the world, but the Almajiri are deprived of the opportunity of proper survival, development and participation in some societies in Nigeria, while we all know the basic fact Almajiri is also a child like any other child and they deserve equal opportunities and treatment in our societies.

Almajiri is supposed to mean immigrants but in Nigeria and a few developed countries of the world, it is used to mean destitute, the people in slums, the forgotten and neglected children.

The Almajiris are actually the people from the grass root, the common and ordinary men whose voices are not heard let alone listened to. These Almajiris are usually between the ages of seven and fifteen, who beg for what to eat and where to stay even when some of them still have parents.  They become an epitome of pity rather than an epitome of achievement by their parents and society at large.

These children sleep in hundreds in one single-room apartment under a Mallam who claims to be teaching the rudiments of the Holy Qur’an and taking care of them. They also bring back the income they have made for the Mallam in which their feeding is removed from the sales made and if the money made is not sufficient enough, they will be dealt with and to be denied feeding for that day.

It is obvious that the rudiment of the Holy Qur’an that the Almajiris are taught is just to know how to read the Holy Qur’an and also identify the basic Arabic letters and techniques of writing the Holy Qur’an, the nitty-gritty of the content of the Holy Qur’an is not passed to them because most of the Mallams are quacks. The wrong is only corrected if they later fall under the teachings or hands of Imams (Islamic leaders or scholars who understand what Prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him taught in the Holy Qur’an). The Almajiris who are good and brilliant will later graduate and become Mallams (Islamic scholars) and teach other younger Almajiris.

However, research has made to know in Kaduna State and being Zaria as a case study it shows that out of every 200 children walking in the street of Zaria, 40 among them are Almajiris who have unidentified parents and 30 among them are Almajiris who do not have parents, but must eat and bring a sought of monetary gratuity back to their Mallams every night or fortnightly.

Sequel to that, one of the suggestions made to curb the menace of Almajiri syndrome in Nigeria is that parents should be responsible for the upbringing of their children through providing them with financial and academic facilities. The government also has a major role to play in providing job opportunities and social amenities. Non governmental organization also have to contribute their own quota in taclking the tragic situation of Almajiri by picking them from street and provide them with clothes, food, enroll them into school and teach them a skilled job so that they would be independent and would no longer feel stranded in the street.

The most pathetic thing is that these children often struggle with starvation. They sleep in hunger, wake up in hunger, read the Holy Qur’an in hunger all in the name of seeking knowledge. They have no one to share their sorrow with, no place to call home and no one to call for help most especially when they are sick and most of them have horrendous wounds, diseases of various kinds but have no one of the tragic situations they are going through. Some of them manage such kind of miseries till death. It is quite pathetic to see a living soul suffering in such terrible condition.

In every aspect of life hygiene is the key to creating healthy living habits and Almajiri deserves the latter for a better and healthy livelihood just like every child. Let us reach out to Almajiri. Let us do whatever we can to support their fight to rise above their pain and suffering. We all know that Almajiri is also a child like any other child. The question here is who would be their savior if we didn’t lend our helping hands to them?

Almajiri Is Also A Child

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.