Dhaka’s street children to play UK MPs

Ansar Ahmed Ullah : On Thursday 9th May there will be a unique cricket game with UK MPs from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Bangladesh and children from Dhaka who have been in the UK for a once in a lifetime opportunity taking part in the Street Child Cricket World Cup with children from seven other countries. The game with MPs will be umpired by the High Commissioner for Bangladesh, H. E. Saida Muna Tasneem.

The game will be held at Victoria Tower Gardens, next to the British Houses of Parliament. 4 boys and 4 girls who until recently were surviving on the streets of Dhaka will form the team from Bangladesh. Before receiving help from Dhaka based NGO LEEDO, the children were experiencing exploitation and abuse in Dhaka at the railway station, the ferry terminal and in domestic service.

Fifteen MPs, from four political parties, will be taking part in the game. The Chairperson of Friends of Street Children Bangladesh, Mike Sheriff, who have provided financial support for the visit by the team, said, “It is great that Members of Parliament are coming to meet children who were surviving on the streets to hear directly about their concerns during a fun cricket game. I am especially pleased that the High Commissioner for Bangladesh has agreed to be the umpire for the game.

Bangladesh is a developing country but there are still children living on the streets. We have seen the talents of the children from Dhaka during the cricket tournament. It should be a priority for every country, as it develops, to realise the potential of all its children. No child should have to suffer abuse and exploitation on the streets.”

The Chairperson of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Bangladesh, Mrs Anne Main, MP said, “I am delighted to be involved in what will be a very special day for all the children and MPs taking part. I know many of my colleagues are really looking forward to meeting the children who have suffered very difficult lives on the streets of Dhaka until they were provided with a home.

MPs who have been to Bangladesh will know that there are lots of children still living on the streets there. Organisations such as LEEDO and Friends of Street Children Bangladesh are doing extremely important work to help more and more of those children into a home. Events like this can help to draw attention to this issue both here and in Bangladesh.”

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