NATION

Kids Selling At Night A Worry

Fijians express mixed reactions about the practice at popular shopping spots.
20 Nov 2019 12:29
Kids Selling At Night A Worry
Damodar City is one of the busiest malls in the city of Suva. Children go there to beg and sell. Photo: Shalveen Chand

It is becoming a serious concern to see children, most of them below the age of 15, selling ready-made food late at night and begging.

This has been a regular occurrence at Damodar City, Sports City and supermarkets around Laucala Bay in Suva.

Most of these children are from Jittu Estate and Wailea selling home-made Fijian puddings, brooms, coconuts and bananas. There are some who resort to begging.

Jason Chandra, 43, of Nasinu said he had encountered the children on his outings at the popular shopping mall.

“They asked if I wanted to buy a pudding. When I said no, they came on strongly to ask for a dollar. Now, I just ignore them,” he said.

Susana Turaga, a university student, said she had been subjected to demands for money from the children.

“It is scary. Because it looks like these children don’t want to finish school and look for money. Down the line, when they are older, I hope they don’t turn to crime,” she said.

Security officials at Damodar City are no longer allowing this practice at the mall. This has forced the children to target people at Sports City and areas out of the Damodar City boundary.

Damodar Group of Companies chief executive officer Div Damodar said it was worrying to see what the children were doing.

“I know that because of socio-economic reasons the children are doing this. But the parents should be made responsible for this,” he said.

“Some of these children are out at night for long hours. Where are their parents? I suspect in some cases, the parents give it to the children to sell, to have that emotional factor.

“I urge the Social Welfare Department or relevant authorities to come out and see and find out what is happening.”

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: shalveen.chand@fijisun.com.fj

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