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Socio- Anthropological Analysis of the Unfavourable Circumstances Compelling Children to Leave Homes
(A Case Study of Rural Punjab)

Muhammad Imran
Roll No. BD 558616

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Department of Agricultural Sciences
Allama Iqbal Oopen University, Islamabad
Socio- Anthropological Analysis of the Unfavourable Circumstances Compelling Children to Leave Homes
(A Case Study of Rural Punjab)

Muhammad Imran
Roll No. BD 558616

A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the
Degree of Master of Science (Hons.) in Rural Development

Supervisor 2018



Great social reformer
Holy Prophet (PBUH)
My universe my father
My heaven my mother
Who taught me the first word to speak
The first alphabetic to write and first step to take
Those who live in mind throughout the whole span of my life
And are
Nearest, dearest, closest and deepest
To me

Muhammad Imran


The thesis entitled ” Socio- Anthropological Analysis of the Unfavourable Circumstances Compelling Children Leave Homes (A Case Study of Rural Punjab)” submitted by Mr. Muhammad Imran in partial fulfilment of M.Sc. (Hons.) in Rural Development has been completed under my guidance and supervision. I am satisfied with the quality of student’s research work.

Rao Nadeem Alam PhD
Assistant Professor,
Department of Anthropology,
Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad

First of all, I would like to offer my humblest thanks to the ALLAH ALMIGHTY for bestowing upon me the sense of investigation and the requisite potential for diligence for the successful accomplishment of this piece of work. My special praise to the Holy Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him) who is forever a source of guidance and knowledge for humanity as a whole. The work represented in this document was accomplished under the compassionate attitude, brotherly behaviour, enthusiastic direction, observant pursuit, scholarly criticism, cheering, perspective and progressive supervision of Rao Nadeem Alam (Ph.D.), Assistant Professor, department of Department of Anthropology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. His comprehensive analysis and rigorous critique not only improved the quality of this thesis, but also my overall understanding in research work. I am grateful to his ever-inspiring guidance, keen interest, scholarly comments and constructive suggestions throughout the course of my studies.
I am thankful to Dr. Shafiq Qadir Memon, Assistant Professor, Ddepartment of Agricultural Ssciences, AIOU for his co-operation whenever needed and for his help during the M.Sc. (Hons.) studies. I would also like to express my humble obligation to my loving parents who always encouraged me to continue my studies, whose love is more precious than pearls and diamonds and whose prayers will never die.I am extremely thankful to my sweet Friend Ulfat Abbas, DO, Child protection Bureau Faisalabad and Mr. Rizwan Haider, Child Protection Officer, Child Protection Bureau Lahore for their co-operation in data collection. Last but not the least, I must acknowledge my Indebtedness to my loving friends, brothers and sisters who motivated me and encouraged for my success. Muhammad Imran


The study was conducted to explore the circumstances compelling children to run away from their homes in our rural areas of Punjab. The 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) defines a child as “any human being below the age of eighteen years, unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier. All the children abandon their homes and rescued by the child protection and welfare bureaus of Faisalabad, Lahore and Rawalpindi were our the population. We A selected a sample of 120 children was selected, having rural background, through purposive sampling technique. Interview guide was used as a tool for data collection, which included questions on geographical affiliation, demographic information, families, educational attainment, and other key perceptions of children.
Data was then analysed statistically. Data findings depict that geographical facts like backward districts, domesticfamilies environment, familial relationships, educational institutions environment, absence of basic facilities at village, poverty within family, peer impact, lack of productive activities like sports grounds, libraries, etc. are among the factors contributed a lot in happening such type of incidences.

List of Figures:
Figure 1: Children rescued during 2015 24
Figure 2: Family structure 29
List of Tables
Table 1:- Sample 22
Table 2: Percentage of children based on urban, suburban and rural affiliation 28
Table 3: Gender of the respondents 28
Table 4: Number of Family Members 30
Table 5: Educational attainment the respondents’ fathers/ guardians 31
Table 6: Educational attainment of the respondents’ Mothers 31
Table 7: Source of family income 32
Table 8: Occupations of mother of the respondent 32
Table 9: Treatment on Poor Performance at Home 34
Table 10: School-Going Status of the Child 34
Table 11: Class/ level 35
Table 12: Education performance of the children at school 36
Table 13: Who pay the expenses of his/her education 36
Table 14: Treatment on poor performance at School 37
Table 15: Respondents engaged in child labour 37
Table 16: Child labour and school going status 38
Table 17: Workplace environment 38
Table 18: Child leisure activities 39
Table 19: Meeting financial needs of the child 39
Table 20: Satisfaction over facilities at hometown 40
Table 21: Reasons of Runaway 42
Table 22: Duration of being Away 42
Table 23: Running away frequency 43
Table 24: Running away alone or with other friends 43
Table 25: How did you manage your travel expenses 44
Table 26: Activities after running away from home 44
Table 27: From where the child protection bureau rescued the children 45
Table 28: Satisfaction over facilities at the bureau 46
Table 29: Desire to Go Home 46
Table 30: Reasons of Going Back Home 46
Table 31: Families of the respondents contacted by whom 47
Table 32: Reaction of family members after being contacted 48
Table 33: Who is responsible for creating such type of circumstance 48
Table 34: Child’s Repentance on incident 49

Table of Contents
1 Introduction 1
1.1 Scope of the Study 5
1.2 Objectives 5
1.2.1 General Objective 6
1.2.2 Specific Objectives 6
1.3 Assumptions 6
1.4 Limitations 6
1.5 Definitions of the key terms 7
2 Review of Literature and theoretical framework 9
2.1: Review of Literature: 9
2.2 Theoretical Frame Work 14
2.2.1 The psychoanalytic perspectives 14
2.2.2 The Learning Perspectives 15
2.2.3 The Cognitive-Developmental Perspective 17
2.2.4 The Ecological System Perspective 18
3. Research Methodology 20
3.1. Justification for Selection of Topic 20
3.2. Population: 21
3.3. Respondents 21
3.4. Sample: 21
3.5. The research site/s 22
3.6. Data Collection Tool 24
3.7. Pilot Testing 24
3.8. Data Collection: 25
3.8.1. Steps taken for data collection 25
3.8.2 Difficulties Confronted 26
3.9. Data Analysis 26
4. Analysis of Data, Results and Discussion 27
4.1 Basic Information: 27
4.2 Family: 29
4.3. Educational Attainment of mothers and fathers/ guardians 30
4.4. Family environment 33
4.5. Education of Children: 34
4.6 Other key factors 37
4.7. Incidence of Running Away 41
5. General Findings of the Research 50
6. Summary, Conclusion & Recommendation 53
6.1. Summary: Error! Bookmark not defined.
6.2. Conclusion 53
6.3. Recommendation 54
Appendix 1 Interview Schedule 57
References 62


CRC Convention on the Rights of the Child
CP&WB Child Protection & Welfare Bureau
DO District Officer
HIV Human Immunodeficiency Virus
INGO International Non-governmental organization
NGO Non-governmental organization
SPARC Society for the Protection of and the Rights of the Child
UK United Kingdom
UN United Nations
UNICEF United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund
US United States

There is no single federal definition of the terms runaway children. The 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) defines a child as “any human being below the age of eighteen years, unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier. Therefore, the runaway children are individuals under ages of 18 who are unable to live in a safe environment with a relative and lack safe alternative living arrangements. Runaway children are also defined as individuals under age 18 who absent themselves from their home or legal residence at least overnight without the permission of their parents or legal guardians.
Runaway is world social phenomena and it is a universal issue. A huge number of children escape from their homes daily due to various factors like negligence, physical abuse, without knowing the problems they have to face after running. The incidents of children escaping from home arise from various factors including negligence, physical abuse, without knowing the problems they have to face after running.
The true scale of the problem is unknown, since there is not a single working organization in Pakistan with the accurate number or figure of the runaway children. This number of runaway children is constantly increasing, mainly due to domestic violence or acute socio-economic hardship which children refuse to bear. Most earn their living from selling the empty bottles, cans and paper they collect each day through garbage and rubbish littered on the streets and dumping places.
Runaway of children is a complex and hidden phenomena in Pakistan, requires innovative and evidence based responses it is clear from this study that there is an urgent need for holistic and child-centred implies that a program m fully respects all element of the child.
An estimated 1.2 to 1.5 million children are on the streets of Pakistan’s major cities and urban centres, constituting the country’s largest and most ostracized social group. These include ‘runaway’ children who live or work on the street, as well as the minority that return to their families at the end of the day with their meager earnings. Domestic violence, unemployment, natural disasters, and poverty are considered the major factors behind the increase in the number of street children. Other factors include unprecedented global industrialization, unplanned and rapid urbanization, family disintegration and lack of education (SPARC 2015) .
There are number of factors contributing in enhancing the percentage of children running away from homes. Escaped children feel deep rejection from their families. Child abuse is thought to be one of the most undesirable reasons why children choose to run away from their homes. Violence prevailing within a family is also one of the reasons. Child abuse entails more than physical injury; abusive adults misuse power and trust to damage a child’s emotional wellbeing. Child abuse and neglect are most common among the youngest and most vulnerable children. Running away from their homes is the best and only way for them to live a peaceful life. There are many other factors (Overprotective parents, family problems, lack of education, undesired marriages) also trigger teens to run away from homes.
They find themselves, there as independent beings away from the maltreatment of parents but are exploited otherwise. Many people misuse them as beggars or they are available for labour on meagre wages.
They are driven by their own desires and beliefs and they even choose to reject the opinion of their parents and other people who are older than they are. The difference of opinion between them and their parents often leads towards some serious problems. All children are naturally insecure and immature emotionally as it is a part of growing process. Day by day, they become more secure when family is a close knit one with proper freedom for communication and to express their emotions. However, if family fails to meet the love for children, children become unstable and try to escape from that atmosphere to get freedom. The family is supposed to be the primary institution for child rearing ideally, parents help children become well integrated, contributing member of society. In our rural setup, joint family system is still prevailing. Due to extended family it is very difficult to keep extensive control on each and every member of the family especially on children. Children that escape from their homes are associated with different forms of problems. According to scientists, escaped children are usually triggered by complex emotional problems. Due to not having the idea of the forthcoming circumstances they prefer to leave the home instead of staying there. They pay more attention on the idea that their parents are no longer there to support and listen to their needs and issues. Sometimes they also misinterpret the words of their parents towards their actions and behaviour.
It has been observed that the children runway from their home involve in anti-social activities. As the antisocial activities attract them and they engage in criminal acts like gambling, smuggling, killing etc. These children are also at the risk to be caught by organized gangs consequently forcing them to use them for their own purpose.
As homeless children often suffer from poor health, lack of sleep, violence which mostly results in a variety of health problems. These children are suffering with physical as well as mental problems, mostly divided into different categories; nutritional deficiencies, sexual health, victimization but the most common is depression and nutritional deficiencies, lack of access to clean water and food that is a major reason of health problems. Other include respiratory, skin ailment as well as these runaways are badly affected by sexual health problems most common is genitourinary disorder. Other sexual transmitted diseases are mostly found in runaways and are a major cause of depression & anxiety and sometimes this feeling of loneliness compels them to end up their lives. They are too young to do any sort of jobs or to do any kind of work, often recruited by people involved in illegal trade, prostitutions or unfair activities. Sometimes these runaways and homeless youth are force to exchange sex for shelter; food, clothing and other basic necessities, and this act increase their risk for HIV infection and other diseases.
Runaway children are a complex and hidden phenomena, requires innovative and evidence based responses. Due to seriousness of the issue there is an urgent need for holistic and child-centered effort to tackle the issue properly by addressing all aspects of child rights.
The government is striving to tackle the issue by enforcing various policies and through various departments like child protection bureau. Similarly, the contribution of various civil society organizations is also remarkable in highlighting the issue. Some of these policies address the educational needs of homeless and runaway youth while others appropriate money for shelters and transitional housing. Other policies include counseling and outreach services to already homeless youth or youth at risk of becoming homeless. Despite these all efforts, the issue is still alarming.
A number of social scientists are very much concerned about the seriousness of the issue. A number of movements like child rights movement isare striving for couple of centuries for the rights of children. UN agencies like UNICEF, NGOs i.e. Save the children, SPARC, SAHIL etc working for the protection of rights of children. Similarly, numbers of government agencies are in place to protect children from abuse, exploitation, violence, discrimination and support the establishment of a system of juvenile justice. But the situation is still unfortunately unsatisfactory for those child and adolescent who are run away from their homes. In addition to other problems like insufficient basic facilities, poverty, marginalization etc. the issues related to children is one of the basic dilemma of our rural community. Due to nonseriousness of the concerned department and least reported nature of the issue, it has become a devastated problem and serious attention is required. This is a very important social issue and very limited work has been done so far. The proposed research will study the factors that contribute in running the children from their homes and the atmosphere being faced by children after leaving their families.
1.1 Scope of the Study
The scope of study is very vast in terms of coverage at it covers rural areas of entire Punjab. There is not geographical limitation on children being rescued by the child protection and welfare bureaus. Children having rural background were selected under the study through purposive sampling technique. Study is conducted in such a way the key stakeholder can benefit from the finding who wish to work in this field and who may sought help from this study.
1.2 Objectives
Proposed study tends to explore the major reasons behind the issue and its impact on the lives of children from our rural areas and its impact on our rural settings
1.2.1 General Objective
To conduct socio- anthropological analysis of the unfavourable circumstances compelling children to leave their homes from rural areas of Punjab) province
1.2.2 Specific Objectives
The general objective can be divided into the following sub-objectives:
• To develop a geographical and demographical profile of the children escaped from their home
• To find out the influence of family environment on children in terms of the issue
• To explore the impact of poverty prevailing in family leads to raise emotions of detestation in children
• To assess the impact of environment prevailing within family and educational institution on children
1.3 Assumptions
It was assumed that:
• The information provided by the children are accurate
• Data gathered through the exercise is helpful in evaluating the problems
• Children rightly express the circumstances leading toward that particular issue
• The study is helpful for conducting future studies in that particular area
• Can make generalisation based on the findings of the study
1.4 Limitations
The present study was restricted by the following geographical, economic and constraints.
• Due to financial and time constrains it was not possible to target the child protection and welfare bureaus of other cities of Punjab province
• It was not possible to gather data from the families of missing children
• Study was only restricted to the children rescued by the bureau so it was not possible to target other street children living at footpaths or shrines
• Could not consider the problems being faced by children after leaving homes due to time and financial constrain
• Could not target expert on child rights, law enforcement agencies and officials of NGOs/government agencies working on child rights
• Very low representation of female child in the study
1.5 Definitions of the key terms
• Runaway Child- According to the U.S. Department of Justice, runaway incidence occurs when a child younger than 18 years leaves home without permission of their parents or guardian and who stays away at least overnight.
• A Child- United nation’s convention on the rights of the child defines a child” means every human being below the age of eighteen years.
• Parents- refer to mother, father, guardian or other caregiver who look after child(ren) in a family unit.
• Family–Family comprised two or more persons related by birth, marriage, adoption, or choice who have emotional ties and responsibilities to each other.
• Family Size- operationally defined as the total members in the family and whether it is nuclear or joint
• Family relationships – Relationships between Husband and wife, parent and children, Individual (ego) and siblings, Individual (ego) and other relatives
• Changes in family relationships –Death of a spouse or sibling, parent”s separation, divorce, remarriage, and temporary absence.
• Family social status-refers to social class, economic condition, Education level of Parents, Occupation of family members and family Income.
2.1: Review of Literature:
Ravi Shankar B. G. Ravindra D. Gadkar (2015) conducted a research to investigate the relationship between family factors and runaway incidence of Children. Children runaway incidence is a worldwide multidimensional issue which necessitates an immediate response primarily from family system for the best interest of children. Most of the research confirmed children those who run away from homes are at risk of some form of harm or maltreatment. The longer a child or adolescent is missing, the greater the risk they face. An effort was made to identify multiple family factors that influence a child to run away from home. This review concludes poor parenting practices of primary caregivers appear to play a major role in the influence of family environment on runaway behavior of the child
Achakzai. J. Khan, (2011) stated that the problem of runaway children is not as general as perceived it’s too complex to be analyzed because of the multitude of factors — social, economic, institutional and administrative — responsible for such phenomenon. The study designed to understand the magnitude of the problem of children running away from homes as well as to bring to light the factors responsible for the incident and to get the responses of state institutions, communities and families towards these children. The methodology regarding the assessment of these mentioned aspects related to the situation was based on the diversified opinion on the issues of the key players. Children, their parents/guardians and neighbours, centers/NGOs working for the rights of children, orphanage houses, police officials, lawyers and judges were interviewed to get the required information. The study reveals that the highest number of runaway cases took place due to the punishment both at home and school and the next highest due to educational compulsion. Strict behavior toward the child, loose supervision over the child and continuous punishment to the child has been quoted as major mistakes. The major improvements suggested can be presented as: the upbringing of the child should be based on provision of good education, proper and systematic guidance, home supervision in a good and conflict-free atmosphere, attitude though strict but free of physical punishment.
Bilal Idrees and Umar Manzoor (2012) conducted a study in Gujranwala to find out the effect of culture and family on the life of children leaving home. They refer ‘runaway children’ refers to those boys who spend at least one night outside from their home without the consent of their parents and have the age below 18. A sample size of 99 children was drawn with the help of simple random sampling technique. The analysis of the results demonstrated that Lack of education, Ideological differences between parents and Children, Child neglecting, forced child labor, sexual abuse, family problems such as being force to live with one parent after they get separated , dispute amongst the parents were all effective in their running away from home.
Alavi, Nen, Mohamad, Sarnon, Ibrahim &Hoesni (2014) conducted a study in Malaysia to study examined 104 Running Away children of 12 years or below age whose cases were reported to the Royal Malaysian Police in 2009 and 2010. Study finding revealed that family was one of the push factors. Majority of the children (23%) were staying with their parents followed by staying with single mother (13%). Other factors like family conflict (24 cases), and parents” divorce (17 cases) seemed to be the main reason for children to abandon their homes. Other factor contributed were lack of compassion among family members (15 cases), poverty or financial issues within (11 cases), and Physical and emotional abuse from parents (10 cases)
Mao, S. (2012) conducted a socio-legal study in Indian Gujarat on the issue of runaway children with the sample of 188 children. Study finding reveal that poverty was one of the major factor for children to leave their home. Running trend was dominant (46.81%) in children whose parents were engaged in daily wages as compare to employed(34%). In addition to that highest percentage of children were staying with two parents families (55%) and rest of them with single parents who had marital issue i.e. separation, divorce or death of spouse (45%). General level of adjustment in the family of children was under problem (more than 50%). Most of them went missing (86%) due to family conflict.
Hill, Louise, Taylor. Julie, Richards. Fiona and Reddington. Susan (2014) stated that an estimated one in nine children will run away from home or substitute care before their 16th birthday in the UK. The majority of children and young people run away from home due to family relationship problems. Running away or being physically absent from home may be due to abuse and neglect. One in 11 children reported being hurt or harmed whilst running away. For some young people, ‘running to’ a person or situation can present many risks and can be part of a coercive and exploitative relationship. Despite these multiple indicators of risk, there has been little focus on safeguarding policies and practice for children and young people who run away from home. The paper argues that professionals must ensure that all children and young people who run away or go missing from home are given meaningful opportunities to be listened to, and taken seriously, in order to ensure that a wide range of safeguarding concerns can be addressed
AugendraBhukuth, Jérôme Ballet (2015) argued that children form one of the main populations to be victims of poverty worldwide. Children of the street are now regarded as a particularly vulnerable population. They tried to explore the factor contributing in their escape from home. They tried to explore the roles of poverty and of other factors, such as domestic violence and parental neglect. The study also tend to explain the living condition of children who run-away from their homes. Children develop survival strategies that are obviously based on their activities, but also involve an organization that calls for analysis in terms of strategic positioning on the territory they occupy.
Ching-Hsuan Lin (2012) conducted a study to explore the characteristics and risk factors of children who run away from foster care. This study compared two groups of foster children: those who run away and those who do not run away. The findings indicated that children who are older, female, with behaviour problems, or diagnosed disability are more likely to run away from foster care placements. In addition, foster children who experienced running away tended to be older at first removal, had been removed from single-parent families, and/or experienced more placement settings and shorter duration while in foster care. Implications for prevention are discussed based on the findings from this study.
Ali. S. Rashid, Muhammad. Niaz, Abdullah (2014) made an effort to study familial factors that contribute to child trafficking. Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, was selected for carrying out this study. A total of 392 respondents i.e., university teachers (116), journalists (103) and legal practitioners (173) are randomly selected. Questionnaire is used for data collection. Chi Square and Gamma statistics are applied for measurement of association and direction of relationship between independent and dependent variable. Positive and significant relationship is observed between family disintegration, homelessness, abuse of children at home, erosion of social network and child trafficking. For prevention of child trafficking, awareness raising campaigns are needed to cover vulnerable communities in order to sensitize them of the negative effects of their bad attitude with children. To keep check on socially downtrodden families, a local level watch-dog needs to be installed to report to government in serious cases. Poverty stricken families especially of militancy-affected regions should be targeted through poverty alleviation schemes
Mugove, Kudenga and Lincoln, Hlatywayo (2015) conducted a study to looks at the major causes that lead to children leaving their homes for the streets. A representative sample was drawn which comprised 40 street kids who were receiving some assistance from four nongovernmental organizations and 8 officials from the organizations. A qualitative descriptive survey was used to guide the methodology. Data was collected using questionnaires and structured interviews for officials and the street kids respectively. Qualitative data with descriptive statistics was used in the presentation and analysis of data. The results showed that children were forced into the streets by factors that included social factors connected with the breakdown of the family structure, economic factors that included poverty and unemployment
Lukman, Z (2009) conducted a small scale research on the prevalence of running away from home among prostituted children in Malaysia revealed reasons for running away from home. Results shows the majority of the children ran away from home because they felt depressed with their family situation (28.3%) and influenced by friends (28.3%). Rest of the children faced problems with their mothers/ stepmothers (22.6%), fathers/ stepfathers (9.4%) and fights with brothers or sisters (11.3%)
K. Tyler, Johnson, &Brownridge (2008) argued that positive parenting, closeness and overall relationship with parent, leads to a statistically significant decrease in runaway episodes and an increase in school engagement.
Tiwari, Gulati, Sethi, &Mehra, (2002) conducted a research to explore reasons for children run away from home. A total number of 400 boys were studied, in which 89.2% children were run away from home and 9.8 % children are not runaways. Results on family aspects revealed that both groups of children were from poor families with lack of basic amenities. Majority of the children escaped from home had no parent earnings. Many of them were from joint family system. Boys with step-parents and/or those residing with guardian are more likely to run-away. A history of physical abuse within the family was higher in the ‘Runaway’ group. Other reasons are desire for economic independence, probably a reflection of the deprived families they belonged to.
2.2 Theoretical Frame Work
There are multiple broad theories, which explain the relationships between environment and children behaviour. Below are relevant theories which clarify or hints underlying factors within family environment that influence a child to run away from home. These theories are being extracted from famous book of David R. Shaffer, 2010.
2.2.1 The psychoanalytic perspectives
Freud’s Stages of Psychosexual Development: For many years scientist focussed on the importance of early family experiences on children’s attitudes and behaviour. According to Sigmund Freud, the ways in which parents manage the sexual and aggressive urges in the first few years of their child’s life play a major role in shaping their children’s personalities. In other words Freud’s Stages of Psychosexual Development describe specifically during toilet training produces major conflicts between child and parents. Children who are punished for toilet accident may become inhibited, messy or wasteful. The emotional climate that parents create can have lasting effects on child.
Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development: Erikson’s work stressed that children are active, curious explorers who seek to adapt to their environments, rather than passive reactors to biological urges who are molded by their parents. Erikson’s psychosocial stages of Development emphasize during “Trust versus mistrust’ phase infant (birth to 1 year) must learn to trust other to care for their basic needs, if care givers seems rejecting and inconsistent the infant may view the world as dangerous place filled with un-trust worthy and unreliable people. During “Autonomy versus shame” and doubt phase the children (1-3 years) must learn to be independent to feed, dress and be hygiene themselves. Failure to achieve these things may force the child to doubt his or her own abilities and feel ashamed. During “Initiative versus guilt phase” children attempt to activities that are beyond their capacities to handle, these lead to conflict with parents and other family members. This may make child feel guilty. Therefore in family setup parents are the key social agents to influence the development of child.
2.2.2 The Learning Perspectives
Watson’s Behaviourism: John B. Watson believed that children do not have inborn tendencies; how they turn out depends entirely on their rearing environments and the ways in which their parents and other significant people in their lives treat them. Development is viewed as a continuous process of behavioural change that is shaped by a person’s unique environment and may differ dramatically from person to person. Watson’s belief was that children are shaped by their environments carried a stern message for parents, means they were largely responsible for what their children would become.
Skinner’s Operant Learning Theory: B.F. Skinner argued that both animals and humans repeat acts that lead to favourable outcomes and suppresses those that lead to unfavourable outcomes. Skinner’s claims that development of human or animal depends on ‘external stimuli’ (reinforcers and punishers) rather than internal forces such as instincts, drives, or biological maturation. Skinner believed any action that increases the likelihood of a response is called “reinforcers” (Stimulus or event). For instance, praise to child from parents serve as “Positive reinforce” (pleasant) and shouting at child by parents serve as ‘negative reinforcer’ (painful).”Punishers” (Stimulus or event) are consequences that suppress a response and decrease the likelihood that it will recur, and again, they can be positive, as when something unpleasant is given to the individual, or negative, as when something pleasant is taken away from the individual. Responses followed by punishers tend not to be repeated. “Omission of reinforcement or omission training ‘is meant to decrease the likelihood of the response that leads to the removal of positive reinforcement. For example, parents turning of the television set (positive reinforcer) and sending a child to his/ her room following some behaviour.
Escape learning and Skinner’s Theory: ‘Escape learning’ is another best example of instrumental conditioning based on negative reinforcement. In this laboratory experiment when the shock comes on, the rat will move around and eventually find its way into the “safe” compartment. In other words rat learns to make the response that terminates the noxious (painful) shock stimulus. “Avoidance Learning” also another demonstration conducted with a rat using buzzer and electric shock in a chamber, here rat learns to avoid a noxious stimulus (the shock) by the response.
Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory: Albert Bandura argues those human beings are cognitive beings means active information processors—who, unlike animals, think about the relationships between their behaviour and its consequences. They are often more affected by what they believe will happen than by what they actually experience. Bandura emphasizes “observational learning’ as a central developmental process. Such learning results from observing the behaviour of other people (Called models). Bandura claimed children and adolescents are active, thinking beings who contribute in many ways to their own development and continually learn both desirable and undesirable behaviours by observation. Bandura’s concept of ?reciprocal determinism’ suggests that children are actively involved in shaping the very environments that will influence their growth and development.
2.2.3 The Cognitive-Developmental Perspective
Piaget’s View of Intelligence: Piaget defined intelligence as a basic life process that helps an organism adapt to its environment. By adapting, means that the human being is able to cope with the demands of its immediate situation. Piaget claims as children mature, they acquire ever more complex “cognitive structures” that aid them in adapting to their environments. Means it is an organized pattern of thought or action that is used by human beings to cope with or explain some aspect of experience. Piaget believes children actively construct new understandings of the world based on their own experiences. Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development describes during “concrete operation stage” children (age of 7-12 years) acquire and use cognitive operations, they understand basic properties of and relations among objects and events in everyday world. During “formal operations stage’ (age11 and beyond) adolescents’cognitive operations are reorganized in the way that permits them to consider many possible solutions to a problem and to pick the correct answer.
2.2.4 The Ecological System Perspective
Bronfenbrenner’s Contexts for Development: Urie Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory provides a detailed analysis of environmental influences. He explains the developing person is said to be at the centre of and embedded in several environmental systems, ranging from immediate settings such as the family to more remote contexts such as the broader culture. Each of these systems is thought to interact with the others and with the individual to influence development in important ways. Bronfenbrenner’s theory considers many different levels and types of environmental effects that might influence a child’s development. These are 5 levels called as “Micro system”, “Meso-system”, “exo-system”, “macro-system” and “Chronosystem’
Family and ecological system perspective: That particular perspective is similar to Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory. The systems approach recognizes that parents influence their children. But it also stresses that (1) children influence the behaviour and childrearing practices of their parents, and (2) that families are complex social systems—that is, networks of reciprocal relationships and alliances (the micro system) that are constantly evolving (the chronosystem) and are greatly affected by community (the exosystem) and cultural influences (the macro system). Families are not only complex social systems, but they are dynamic, or changing, systems as well. Klein and White’s study (As cited in David R. Shaffer, 2010) consider that every family member is a developing individual and that relationships between husband and wife, parent and child, and sibling and sibling will also change in ways that can influence the development of each family member. Many such changes are normal developmental changes, as when parents allow toddlers to do more things on their own as a means of encouraging autonomy and the development of individual initiative. Yet, a host of unplanned or unforeseen changes (such as the death of a sibling or the souring of the husband–wife relationship) can greatly affect family interactions and children’s development. So the family is not only a system in which developmental change takes place; its dynamics also change with development of its members.
This chapter focuses on the description of research methodology applied in carrying out the research study. The study focusses on understanding the degree of issue as well as causes leading to children to develop hatred feeling in their minds, leading them to escape from homes. . It is exploratory in nature relies on face to face interviews for better understanding of the circumstances compelling children to take serious steps including abandoning their homes.
In order to have appropriate data for analysis, various tested methods and techniques are applied in social research, which could lead to some factual conclusion. In this study, it has been kept in mind that selection of the research method must be according to the area and topic of the study.
3.1. Justification for Selection of Topic

The topic was selected to further explore the factors responsible for developing such type of deviant feelings in the mind of children, compelling them to leave their homes from our rural areas. It is a unique topic and so far, limited work has been done on it. The children are thought to be the future of a nation and a nation cannot make a progress by ignoring the important segment of the population. The researcher selected the given topic for study as to make it further clear that rural development is only possible through proper development of rural people who are lagging behind from their counterparts in cities. To serve this goal in mind the topic was selected to explore the socio- anthropological factors contributing in compelling the children to leave their homes.
3.2. Population:
All the children who escape from their homes, rescued by the child protection & welfare bureau Rawalpindi, Faisalabad & Lahore and have a rural background was population of the study.
3.3. Respondents
All the children escaped from home, rescued by child protection bureau, having rural background will be the respondents of the study. 120 children was selected under the study by following the mention below sampling technique
3.4. Sample:
Purposive sampling technique was used for selection of respondents.
According to Neuman (l997):
It is an acceptable kind of sampling for special situation. It uses the judgment of an expert in selecting cases or it selects cases with a specific purpose in mind.
Purposive sampling refers to a sampling technique in which researcher relies on his or her own judgment while including respondents in the study will be used for the proposed study.
Purposive sampling method proves to be effective in collecting required amount of data from a limited numbers of respondents. For sampling purpose, the children who run away from their home, rescued by the child protection bureau and kept at the bureau premises, having rural background were selected. A sample of 100 children was drawn by following the below mentioned criteria, through purposive sampling technique;
• Children who belong to rural areas
• Runaway from their homes due to certain socio- anthropological issues
Bureau Frequency Percent
Faisalabad 38 31.7
Lahore 42 35.0
Rawalpindi 40 33.3
Total 120 100.0
Table 1- Sample

3.5. The research site/s
An extensive work was done for identification and finalization of sites for the data collection. The topic is unique and very limited work has been done on it so finding suitable respondents was a challenge. It is one of the issue which is least reported. Researcher contacted NGOs, orphanages and other government, public/private institutes engaged in children related work. After having number of visits and discussion with concerned person it was decided to target the child protection bureau.
3.5.1 Overview
In order to provide care, rehabilitation, education and training to the destitute and neglected children, Government of the Punjab established Child Protection and Welfare Bureau in March, 2004. Main objective behind the establishment of the Bureau was to provide shelter to the children and protect them from engaging in antisocial activities. Children are provided food, shelter as well as education and skills to make them useful citizens.
Bureaus also provide services in finding children families and handing over them to their families by fulfilling the formalities. In addition to thatthe child psychologists take various measures for mental development and rehabilitation for these children. In order to handle the legal issues a child protection court is also working under the umbrella of child protection and welfare bureau. Bureau has offices at Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Multan, Rawalpindi, Sialkot, Rawalpindi and Bahawalpur comprising professional team including child protection officers, psychologists, law officers and doctors, etc.
Child protection and welfare bureau is offering following basic services;
? Family Tracing
? Rehabilitation
? Reunification
? Rescue
? Legal
? Psychological Counselling
? Open Reception Centres
? Helpline
? Capacity Building
? Mass Awareness
? Research Monitoring and Evaluation

Social section is the main operational section of Child Protection & Welfare Bureau (CP&WB) in which runaway children are rescued from roads, streets and other vulnerable places. The children who are abused, exploited, used for commercial sexual exploitation, without parental care, or used for child trafficking, abduction and sale are rescued by the officers from Social Section. The Social section has provided services to 3191 children in all districts.

Figure 1: Children rescued during 2015

3.6. Data Collection Tool
Interview guide was used as a tool for data collection. It is a brief written document giving an outline of different aspect of study. It is flexible and allows the researcher to explain it further in front of respondents for making it further clearer.
According to Goode and Hatt (1957) interview guide is one form of the questionnaire which allows research to elaborate the questions in more understandable manner.
3.7. Pilot Testing
Piloting will be very important part of the questionnaire construction. This involves testing research instrument in conditions as similar as possible to the research, but not in order to report results but rather to check for glitches in wording of questions, lack of clarity of instructions etc. – in fact, anything that could impede the instrument’s ability to collect data in an economical and systematic fashion.
3.8. Data Collection:
Data Collection is an important aspect of any type of research study. Inaccurate data collection can affect the results of a study and ultimately lead to invalid results. Data collection is the process of gathering and measuring information on variables of interest, in an established systematic fashion that enables one to answer stated research questions, test hypotheses, and evaluate outcomes. Data will be collected through self- structured interview schedule and both close and open-ended questions will be asked. Face to face, interviews will be conducted in order to collect the required detail. Names and details of children will be kept anonymous to maintain the confidentiality of the respondents.
3.8.1. Steps taken for data collection
• The researcher introduced himself as student of M.Sc. (Hons) Rural Development, Allama Iqbal Open University and briefly explained the purpose of the data collection exercise.
• Researcher himself collected the data with facilitation from the Child Protection & Welfare Bureau (CP&WB)’s officials.
• It took four months in collection of data due to unavailability of suitable respondents.
• Researcher tried to build the friendly environment by ensuring that the data collected from them was purely for fulfilling the requirement of study and their names and other personal data will kept in confidence
• Data collection exercise took bit more time as finding the appropriate beneficiaries was challenge and I am thankful to my friends at the Child Protection & Welfare Bureau(CP&WB for their support in identification of appropriate respondents and timely informing me for gathering the relevant data from them
These steps helped in developing friendly’ and reliable environment for gathering the objective data.

3.8.2 Difficulties Confronted
Researched faced some difficulties in collecting data from certain respondents as they were hesitant to respond the questions which were about their personal life. Researcher has to spend bit more time in further building their confidence in the study by explaining it further. Researcher explained the purpose of the study and motivated them to give correct answers and information. Researched also faced difficulty in finding potential respondents as children use to come on irregular interval basis.

3.9. Data Analysis
After collection of data, it will be entered in SPSS software. Data was further be cleaned in order to make it analysable. Different statistical tests were applied to data. Findings are further be interpreted in form of a report.

The chapter presents the analysis of data collected on Socio- Anthropological Analysis of the Unfavourable Circumstances Compelling Children Leave Homes through interviewing method of data collection.Keeping in view the specific objectives of the study, an interview schedule wasdeveloped to collect the data. The data collected from 120 respondents have been tabulated, analysed and discussed in this chapter.
4.1 Basic Information:
In study basic information of the children escaped from homes, rescued by the Child Protection & Welfare Bureau (CP&WB) and spent time at there were compiled and analysed. Number of children used to stay varies from time to time. As per the prevailing record, an average of 100-110 children stayed during certain interval. Their staying period varied from individual to individual ranging from days to weeks, weeks to months and months to years. We only considered those children who spend at-least one night at the bureau. These children were from the urban, suburban and rural areas of different districts of Punjab province. Out of them 120 (37.38%) were from our rural areas, which shows the seriousness of the problem. Running away trend is very high in male children (90%) as compare to female children (10%). Below data contains the number of children, stayed atChild Protection & Welfare Bureau (CP&WB)during data collection exercise. It took approximately three months in collection of data as finding potential beneficiaries was challenging. Table below clearly depict the intensity of the issue based on geographical affiliation.
Child Protection & Welfare Bureau(CP&WB Urban Suburban Rural Total
Lahore 35 42 43 120
Faisalabad 30 28 37 95
Rawalpindi 37 29 40 106
Total 102 99 120 321
%age 31.78% 30.84% 37.38% 100%
Table 2: Percentage of children based on urban, suburban and rural affiliation
Districts:Out of 120 children interviewed, more that 90% were from the least developed districts of Punjab, which shows poverty as one of the factors compelling children to leave home in search of better quality of life.
Gender: Trend of running away from homes is very high in males as compare to females. Out of sample of 120 only 8 (6.67%) female qualified to satisfy the requirement of the study.
Gender Frequency Percent
Male 112 93.33
Female 8 6.67
Total 120 100.00
Table 3: Gender of the respondents

4.2 Family:
Family system: In the study, the majority of children (54.2%) belong to joint family system, 24.2% nuclear family system and 21.7 broken families. Due to extended number of family members joint family tends to have loose control on its members providing an opportunity for children to learn from the external environment both positive and negative things. In most of the cases today young generation are slowly losing their control when it comes to moral issues.

Figure 2: Family structure

Family size:The family sizes of the children reveals that the bigger the family size,the lesser the chance of better attention over the child and better supervisionof the child as well as family. Escaping from home trends found high (68.3%) in the families having 7-10 members. A very low percentage of respondents reported family having more than 10 members. 29.2% fell under the category of 3-7 members’ families.
Members Frequency Percent
3-6 35 29.2
7-10 82 68.3
10+ 3 2.5
Total 120 100.0
Table 4: Number of Family Members
4.3. Educational Attainment of mothers and fathers/ guardians
Being the key agents of child socialization the data on education of parents/guardians was recorded..
Fathers/guardians of the respondents: Fathers/ guardian of the majority of respondents tend to have low educational attainment. Observing the educational status of the fathers of the respondents, the highlights are: on average, the highest numbers (35.8%) of them are under middle level, the next higher (18.3%) are primary. As further detail the fathers with matriculation were 15.8%, with intermediate, graduation and masters were recorded as 4.2%, 6.7% & 4.2% respectively. This shows, that families having educated fathers/ guardians tends to have control on children. Fathers of 84.9% children targeted through study were under or matriculation. Only 18 respondents (15.1%) reported that their fathers are having educational attainment above matriculation level.
Frequency Percent
Illiterate 18 15.0
Primary 22 18.3
Middle 43 35.8
Matric 19 15.8
Intermediate 5 4.2
Graduation 8 6.7
Masters 5 4.2
Table 5: Educational attainment the respondents’ fathers/ guardians
Frequency Percent
Illiterate 65 54.2
Primary 29 24.2
Middle 16 13.3
Matric 4 3.3
Intermediate 4 3.3
Graduation 2 1.7
Total 120 100.0
Mothers of the respondents:Mothers of respondents were found poorly educated having 91.7% upto middle level i.e. 54.2 illiterate, 24.2% education till primary level and 13.3% till middle level. Only 8.3% (3.3 matriculation, 3.3% intermediate and 1.7 Graduation. Not a single case observed above graduation level.
Table 6: Educational attainment of the respondents’ Mothers

Source of family Income: Around 40.8% of them found engaged in daily wages. Apart from few, majority of them were unskilled labour, relaying on daily wages for fulfilment of them as well as theirs families need. 36.7% were farmers and almost all had their own cultivable land. 7.5% among them were unemployed only 15.5% were having jobs or relatively fixed amount of income on monthly basic. It was further observed that among jobholders, only few were having government jobs and rest of them were engaged in private jobs like working in factories in nearby cities.
Frequency Percent
Daily wages 49 40.8
Farmer 44 36.7
Job 18 15.0
Unemployed 9 7.5
Total 120 100.0
Table 7: Source of family income

Occupations of mother of the respondent: Mothers/housekeepers of majority of children (49.2%) were found to be housewives. Evidences on working in others home were also found. Due to low literacy rate only few were having jobs

Frequency Percent
House wife 59 49.2
Works in others’ home 49 40.8
Job 12 10.0
Total 120 100.0
Table 8: Occupations of mother of the respondent
4.4. Family environment
Perception on family environment: Family is considered a basic institution of child socialization. Family plays a very vital role to support the children not only at early stages but also in later stages of life. . Family offers physical protection, emotional support and financial assistant throughout life span. It has been observed that people living with families tend to be happier, healthier and wealthier than people living alone. As mentioned, earlier that majority of children escaped from homes were from 10-15 years of age category. That particular time is emotional period. Due to extended family system, having an average of 7-10 members in family further contributed in providing opportunities to establish linkages with external environment.49.2% respondents considered the conflicting and tense environment of their families. They reported frequent quarrel among family members as well as between parents. 30% described their family environment as comprising and 20.8% as loving one.
Frequency Percent
Loving 25 20.8
conflicting and tense 59 49.2
Compromising 36 30.0
Total 120 100.0
Table 8: Family Atmosphere
Ttreatment on Poor Performance at Home: Study finding depict that family environment was one of the factors contributing handsomely in running away trends. 51.7% children were physically and 29.2% verbally abused at family level by parents or other family members on minor issues. Only 19.2% reported that certain types of issues were handled with love at their families.
Frequency Percent
Handled with love 23 19.2
Punished 62 51.7
Verbally abused 35 29.2
Total 120 100
Table 9: Treatment on Poor Performance at Home

4.5. Education of Children:
Education plays key role in shaping and reshaping the personalityof children. Data on education was gathered to see the educational performance of the child impacting his/her life as well as to assess the impact of educationon the children’s life, the response ofthe child towards this sensitive indicator, adjustment of the child towards schooling, education as a compulsion factor disturbing the child’s life andforcing the child to disconnect relation with education through someundesirable action such as runaway leading to release the tense situationwithin the family. Running away trend was founddominant in school going children than the out of schoolchildren. Out of 120 children, 61.7% were studying in certain education institutions whereas 38.3% were out of school.
Frequency Percent
Yes 74 61.7
No 46 38.3
Total 120 100.0
Table 10: School-Going Status of the Child
Level/ class: As 61.7% were school, going children and 38.3% were out of schoolchildren. Among school, going children 6.76 were in 2nd class, 8.11 3rdclass, 20.27 5th class, 22.97 6th class, 18.92 7th class, 13.51 8th class, 2.70 9th and 6.76 10th class.
Class/level Frequency percent
2 5 6.76
3 6 8.11
5 15 20.27
6 17 22.97
7 14 18.92
8 10 13.51
9 2 2.70
10 5 6.76
Table 11: Class/ level
Educational Performance:Out of 74 schools, going children 35.14% considered themselves as poor in their studies and 33.78% were average students. Only 5.41% students reported that they were performing excellently in their studies and 25.81% found good in their studies. This shows the clear relationship with education performance and the running away. Those students who were performing good or excellent were in minority among running away children.
Frequency Percent
Excellent 4 5.41
Good 19 25.68
Average 25 33.78
Poor 26 35.14
Total 74 100.0
Table 12: Education performance of the children at school
Educational expenses: Study finding also reveal that children escaped from home were facing difficulty in managing their educational expenses. Although education expenses are not too much high in our rural areas but still their parents were not in position to pay them properly. 43.24% children said that others afforded their educational expenses. Respondents further unfolded the term “others” as those community members, philanthropist, landowners etc. Similarly, 36.49% students have to manage their expenses by earning themselves. Only 20.27% respondents expressed that their parents have been managing their educational expenses. So insufficient resources and child labour to bear to expanses of education was fond as a contributing factor, compelling children to leave home for better future, without considering its consequences.
Frequency Percent
Parent 15 20.27
Paid by others 32 43.24
Earn by themselves 27 36.49
Total 74 100
Table 13: Who pay the expenses of his/her education
Treatment at school: In the study, an effort was made to find out the role of educational institution in building the personality of children. Educational institutions are consideredtheplatforms of socialization where the children learn not from their teachers but also from their peers. Although government of Punjab is striving to promote the education with love by introducing the slogan “Maar nahi, Pyar” but still there are certain institutions where teachers are exerting punishment. Our study finding reveals that teachers in the schools physically punished 43.24% children frequently, based on poor performance. 22.97% reported as abused verbally by teacher. 33.78% children said that their teachers were kind and they handled them with love and guided them properly. This shows that physical and verbal abuse as one of the contributing factor.
Frequency Percent
handled with love 25 33.78
Punished 32 43.24
verbally abused 17 22.97
Total 74 100.00
Table 14: Treatment on poor performance at School
4.6 Other key factors
Child labour: Child labour is serious violation of child rights. Every child has equal right on education, food, health care, protection etc. Evidences on engagement of respondents in children labour were found. Certain of them were doing work in addition to studies. In the study 50.8% children were found engaged in child labour. They reported working in fields, cycle/motorbikes workshops, shops etc.
Frequency Percent
Yes 61 50.8
No 59 49.2
Total 120 100.0
Table 15: Respondents engaged in child labour
It has also been observed that child labour also exists among the school-going children. Table below shows that 30% of the respondents were those who were doing some sort of labour in addition to their studies, consequently putting extra burden on children.

Child labour School going Status Total
Yes No
Engaged 30.0% 20.8% 50.8%
Not 31.7% 17.5% 49.2%
Total 61.7% 38.3% 100.0%
Table 16: Child labour and school going status
Workplace environment was also considered under the study and it was observed that majority of children (47.54%) were physically and 37.70 were verbally abused at workplace by their bosses/ supervisors on frequent basis. Only 14.75% reported that bosses handled them with love during work. So child labour and abuse at workplace was found a factor for children to develop feeling deviant feelings in their minds to leave their homes.
Frequency Percent
handled with love 9 14.75
Punished 29 47.54
Verbally abused 23 37.70
Total 61 100.00
Table 17: Workplace environment
Child leisure activities: Child leisure activities were recorded to assess his/her areas of interest. Data finding reveal that the fact that the highest numbers of children faced with incident of ‘runaway’ have more been involved in not major activities. They tended to wander here and there and spent time with street people. Movies also contributed handsomely in developing imaginary sketch of better future in the minds of children. In order to have better future they prefer to leave their home. Children having productive activities like sports tend to have low chance of being engaged in activities resulting in running away from homes.
Frequency Percent
Sports 20 16.7
Watching movies 37 30.8
Wandering here and there 63 52.5
Total 120 100
Table 18: Child leisure activities
Meeting Financial needs of child: Managing financial need of the child is thought to be the responsibility of the parents/ guardian. Study finding present a different picture. Only 18.3% could manage their financial needs through the pocket money, received from parents/ guardians. 45.83% borrow from other and mostly ill-treated by other from where they borrow in case of not repaying timely. Out of 61 children engaged in child labour only 43 could manage their financial expenses through their earning. This shows how minor wage they tend to receive as reward of their work. So child labour, minor wages and pressure of persons from whom they borrow the money were also the factors contributed in the issue.
Frequency Percent
Pocket Money 22 18.33
Borrow from others 55 45.83
Earn by themselves 43 35.83
Total 120 100.0
Table 19: Meeting financial needs of the child
Satisfaction over facilities at hometown: one of the dominant factor, contributed in developing detestation feelings in the mind of children were insufficient facilities at their hometowns. Majority of the children were associated with the villages, lacking of basic facilities. 53.33% showed dissatisfaction over the facilities at their hometown. They expressed their view that they were impressed by the charm of city life and wanted to seek bright future over there. 35.83% were partially satisfied and only 10.83 were fully satisfied with the facilities.
Frequency Percent
Fully 13 10.83
To some extent 43 35.83
Not 64 53.33
Total 120 100.0
Table 20: Satisfaction over facilities at hometown

4.7. Incidence of Running Away
Reasons of running away: Running away trends among the children was studies through various angles and underlying factors were enlisted during the study. Various factors contributed in this regards. We tried to categories them under five major areas. Most dominant aspect (38.3%) was recorded as poverty. Children complained of being under nourished. They faced difficulty in fulfilling their basic needs. 2nd important reason was the school environment. Children expressed that the environment in the school is not friendly. Teachers tend to insert violence in case of not doing homework properly. Family environment is not supportive in this regards either due to not having qualified parents or due to engagement in labour. Due to tense family environment, they couldnot concentrate on their studies well. Third important factor identified was absence of basic facilities at society level. They were unable to enjoy basic facilities at community level. Consequently a sense of deprivation raised in their mind compelling them to escape from such type of environment. We cannot ignore the role of media as a contributing factor. Media has highlighter the charms of cities and other areas appealing them to leave their home for their better future.
Frequency Percent
Family environment 9 7.5
School environment 33 27.5
Poverty- difficulty finding meal/poverty in family 46 38.3
Lack of basic facilities at community level 25 20.8
Media 7 5.8
Total 120 100.0
Table 21: Reasons of Runaway
Duration of being Away: In addition to running away frequency, the duration of being away from home was also recorded. 25.8% children were those who were away from their home from 20-29 days. There were certain children (22.5%) which were away from their home form more than 50 days. For further deepening the understanding, we asked from the children as well as Child Protection & Welfare Bureau (CP&WB) officials the reason behind that. They expressed that these children are either members of broken families, or not willing to go to home or their family not willing to welcome them again due to habitual nature of running away from homes. 15.8%were away from their homes for 10-15 & 30-39 days respectively. Only 14.2% were recorded of having 1-9 days period away from their families.
Frequency Percent
1-9 day 17 14.2
10-19 days 19 15.8
20-29 days 31 25.8
30-39 Days 19 15.8
40-49 Days 7 5.8
50 and above days 27 22.5
Total 120 100.0
Table 22: Duration of being Away
Running away frequency: In order to further explore the seriousness of problem among children an effort was made to record their frequencies of running away from home. Data finding depict that 50.8% were those who escaped from their home 2nd time and even 21.7% were running third time from their homes. While further investigate the repetition in the practices was found mainly due to not having improvement in the factors like family environment, schools, insufficient basic facilities at community and at family level. This shows the by bring improving in our basic institutions, the issue could be tackled properly or even we can minimise its intensity. Among them 27.5% were those who abandoned their home for the first time.
Frequency Percent
1st Time 33 27.5
2nd Time 61 50.8
3rd time 26 21.7
Total 120 100.0
Table 23: Running away frequency
Role of peer: One of factor, whichparents / guardian need to keep in mind, is the company of children. As majority of children, belong to joint family system having extended number of members resulting in loose control on each member. Out of 120, 55% reported that they left their home along with peers. So the parents/ guardian need to be conscious about the children friends and should develop friendly family environment so that family linkages hold the child connected with family. 54% abandoned their home alone
Frequency Percent
Alone 54 45.0
With other friends 66 55.0
Total 120 100.0
Table 24: Running away alone or with other friends
Travel Expenses: 37.5% respondents borrowed the money from others. 32.5% stolen money either from their homes or from outer places. This shows how the runaway issue contributes in developing other anti-social habits in children. 30% managed their travel expenses through their pocket money.

Frequency Percent
Pocket Money 36 30.0
Theft/stolen 39 32.5
Borrow from others 45 37.5
Total 120 100.0
Table 25: How did you manage your travel expenses?
Activities after running away from home: Children after abandoning their home mostly found struggling for their basic needs. 50% of them reported that they have been doing work during daytime and at night, they used to stay at shrine for food and shelter. These shrine included BarriImaam, DataDarbaar, Golra etc. 30.83% engaged in begging and used to stay at footpath overnight. 19.17% were those who were relatively new and found wandering here and there in search of food and shelter.
Frequency Percent
Wandering and roaming around 23 19.17
Staying at shrine and working for survival 60 50.00
Begging 37 30.83
Total 120 100.00
Table 26: Activities after running away from home
From where the Child Protection & Welfare Bureau(CP&WB)’s officials rescued the respondents: Study finding reveal that after running from home the children mostly travel to cities where they could find shelter and food. 50% children informed that Child protection and welfare bureau official rescued them from shrine. Shrine is thought to be the safer place in terms of food and shelter. Majority of them were habitual, who used to escape from their home on frequent basis. 30.8% were those who were found wandering here and there in search of food and shelter. 19.2% were engaged in child labour but were not satisfied with earning and attitude of bosses and colleagues. As per discussion with children food, shelter and protection were among the factors for selection of destination after running away from homes.
Frequency Percent
Street-wandering here &there 37 30.8
Shrine 60 50.0
Working in market 23 19.2
Total 120 100.0
Table 27: From where the child protection bureau rescued the children
Satisfaction over facilities at theChild Protection & Welfare Bureau (CP&WB): After rescuing, the children are being kept at child protection& welfare bureau. Researcher also collected data on level of satisfaction over facilities at Child Protection & Welfare Bureau (CP&WB). The objective behind that was to check the seriousness of government to address the issue. 57.5% showed satisfaction over facilities at Child Protection & Welfare Bureau (CP&WB). 28.3 were neural and only 14.2 were found dissatisfied with the facilities at bureau.
Frequency Percent
Yes 69 57.5
No 17 14.2
Neutral 34 28.3
Total 120 100.0
Table 28: Satisfaction over facilities at the bureau

Desire to Go Home:In order to assess the realization of mistake minds of children researcher thought it important to include the assessment of feeling of the child about his/herdesire to go home.Data on willingness of child to go back home was. 42.5% showed willingness to return to their home whereas 38.3% were still not interested in going back homes. 19.2% were not in favour of either going back or staying here.
Desire to Go Home Frequency Percent
Yes 51 42.5
No 46 38.3
Neutral 23 19.2
Total 120 100.0
Table 29: Desire to Go Home
Reasons of going back home:Main reason behind not going back to home was fear of parents/ guardians, tense family/school environment, insufficient basic facilities etc. Reasons for going back were missing family members (49.02%), got bored (29.41%) and 21.57% were forced by officials and other friends
Reasons of going back home Frequency Percent
Missing family members 25 49.02
Got bored 15 29.41
forced to go back home 11 21.57
Total 51 100
Table 30: Reasons of Going Back Home
Families of respondents contacted: Families of the 15% of the respondent were not contacted mainly due to inability of respondent to communicate their contact detail properly. In majority of cases, Bureaus’ official facilitated the respondents in contacting their families. In certain cases, the officials have to insist the respondents repeatedly to share their contact detail. 14.2% contacted their families with ease and clearly communicated the address of bureau. 31.7% families, were contacted by the friends of the respondents.
Families of respondents contacted by? Frequency Percent
Respondent 17 14.2
Bureau staff 47 39.2
Friends of respondents 38 31.7
NA (Not contacted) 18 15.0
Total 120 100.0
Table 31: Families of the respondents contacted by whom
Reaction of family members after being contacted: In order to further discourage the running away habit in child life information on family reaction after being contact were gathered. Data finding reveals that 44.12% family member was found irritated after being contacted. Main reason behind that found that either these were broken families or their were fed up due to the habitual nature of child. 36.27% were found exited and they showed readiness to bring back their child. 19.61% were found neutral without any specific reaction.
Reaction of family members Frequency Percent
Excited 37 36.27
Irritated 45 44.12
Neutral 20 19.61
Total 102 100.00
Table 32: Reaction of family members after being contacted

Responsibility Acceptance: Mostly children are thought to be the responsible for runaway but other actors like parents/guardians; teacher, community members, peers etc. might be responsible for creating an environment forcing the child to run away. The question was asked from children to know his/ her perception regarding the responsibility of person whole role seemed to be more dominant in developing such type of situation. 45.8% children blamed their parents and 32.5% their teachers. 15% blamed themselves as responsible for running away. This shows the role of parents and teachers in lives of children in terms of shaping and reshaping their personalities. By developing these two basic institutions, we can address the issue properly by minimizing its intensity.
Responsibility Acceptance Frequency Percent
Themselves 18 15.0
Parents 55 45.8
Teacher 39 32.5
Neutral 8 6.7
Total 120 100.0
Table 33: Who is responsible for creating such type of circumstances?

Child’s Repentance on incident: An assessment was conducted to have the responses of the child whether he/she repents on the act of runaway or not. 81.67%responded showed repentance over the act and felt sorry on their act of running away from homes. They showed the commitment over not repeat such type of incident in their life. Some 18% did not give much importance to the incidence.

Child’s Repentance on incident Frequency Percent
Yes 98 81.67
No 22 18.33
Total 120 100.0
Table 34: Child’s Repentance on incident


In the study, an effort was made to unpack the socio-anthropological factors compelling children to run away from their homes. Mentioned below are key findings of the study;
• Running away trend is one of the burning issue of our rural communities and its intensity found high in the lower income districts of Punjab province
• Running away trend is more dominant in males as compare to females
• Study findings that children tend to run away from home during puberty stage.
• Majority of children targeted under the study were from joint family system, having extended members tend to have lose control on it members.
• A strong relationship between the runaway tendency and education of the parents/parents explored. More the educated parents lower the chance of being running away from home.
• Poverty prevailing within a family was one of the strong factors compelling children to leave their home
• Running away trend exists in both school going and out of schoolchildren. But it was found relatively higher among school going children instead of out of school children.
• Difficulty in managing education expenses, educations institutions environment, aid at home for doing homework, insufficient facilities at schools, attitude of teacher and child labour were among the factors behind running away incidents among school going children.
• Absence of productive activities like sports etc children (both school going and out of school) got engage in activities leading toward such type of behaviour.
• Child labour was reported among the children and environment at workplace was reported as tense due to physical and verbal abuse from bosses and other colleagues.
• Facilities like parks, playgrounds are missing in our rural settings so children mostly tend to wander here and their instead of engaging in productive activities like sports etc.
• Due to conflict among family members, the family atmosphere was found tense. This further enhanced the intensity of the problem.
• Fathers of majority of them were engaged in profession like daily wages or working at farms earning insufficient income to fulfil the needs of their families
• Insufficient facilities at rural area were also among the factors contributing in this regards
• Family, school environment, poverty prevailing in families, insufficient basic facilities at the community level was found the major factors compelling children to leave their homes.
• A number of children were found habitual of running away from homes. They tended to escape from their home on multiple occasions. Majority of them left their home along with friends.
• Running away is a social phenomenon, which can contribute in number of other antisocial activities. A number of children found engaged in begging. Few confessed of committing crimes like pocket picking for managing their expenses of foods and shelter. Few of them reported that they were sexually harassed.
• Safe place for children for food and shelter were shrines and public parks, where they could manage their food and shelter needs.
• Majority of children got fed-up and showed readiness to go back home. They also expressed that missing family members in also a factor behind their willingness to go back homes.
• Families of the respondents were found welcoming. They showed excitement after hearing the news of their children. Few showed irritation. Major reason behind that was they were fed-up from the habitual nature of their child or they were step relatives.
• Majority of children showed repentance over the incident and committed not to repeat the action in future.


6.1. Conclusion
The research was conducted to explore the magnitude of the problem of children running away from homes, key compelling factors and possible ways to address them. Study finding reveal that factors compelling children to leave their homes are:
Family related: conflict in families, broken families, joint families due to extended number of member tend to have loose control on its members,
Peer Related: out of school, engagement with peer
Education Related: Eeducation performance, schools environment, difficulty in managing educational expenses, out of school children, insufficient educational institutions at village level,
Poverty: Poverty within families, lack of basic facilities at village level, absence of productive activities like sports grounds, libraries, vocational training institutes, illiteracy among parents
Financial problems: Ffinancial problem like difficulty in finding pocket-money/ financial needs of children, media, external environment.
Family and Educational institutions environment:Other factors explored were physical abuse at home and school, inappropriate guidance proving as educationalcompulsion, friends’ provocation for runaway and boredom felt at home dueto unattractive atmosphere created by other family members. Strictbehaviours towards the child, loose control over the child andpunishment to the child have been quoted as major mistakes.
Research finding will prove to be helpful for experts and policymakers to review the situation in the light of the facts andeliminate the obstaclesand hardships created by parents, teachers and friends. In other words thehome discipline, the school situation and the friends company are among the factors to be looked at.
6.2. Recommendation
Thelessons learnt from the incident are: good and effective supervision is needed, child must not be abused persistently, the genuine demands of the child be met, and check on child’s society is must. In order to avoid theincident to take place in future the major improvements suggested include: upbringing of the child be based on provision of good education, proper andsystematic guidance, home supervision in a good and conflict free atmosphere, attitude though strict but free of physical punishment.
Based on study findings here are few key recommendation to address the issue properly. The recommendation are not only for plannersand policy makers at the government level only but also for the voluntaryorganizations, civil society, NGOs, welfare organizations, law enforcementagencies, the most close personalities (parents, teachers, friends) to play theirrole and fulfil their responsibilities. All these sections of the population are being motivated to contribute in tackling the issue properly.
• A culture of love should be promoted at homes as well as at schools. A harsh behaviour from parents and teachers towards the child both at home and school based on false assessment of the child’sproblem(s) be abandoned to streamline the child in the day to daylife, otherwise the imbalance in his/her life activities will expose his/her personality and the incident of runaway is expected.
• The harsh attitude in terms of verbal abuse could be accommodated by the children in some cases, but physical abuse inform of beating, locking up in room, stopping from the food etc.will further scare the child and force him/her to take extreme step of running away from homes. Therefore, implication of any sort of torture for guiding the child needs to be stopped wherever inpractice.
• The supervision of the family needs to be assessed and the problemensuing in the result be reviewed and concrete steps be taken athome level by the parents. The important dimensions of knowingthe weaknesses of the child, taking care of the child’s needs,providing child friendly educational environment, check on the friends circle of the child, provision of conflict free homeatmosphere and most importantly proper guidance be on priorityconcerning the supervision responsibility of the parents/guardianswhich can help in eliminating the chances of runaway of a child.
• The teaching methods need to be modified as per the interest of the child lowering the intensity of boredom, fear ofpunishment and more importantly to accommodate extracurricularactivities. Teachers need to promote friendly atmosphere at schools.
• Government should ensure strict monitoring on schools, especially of our rural areas in terms of education performance, attitude of teachers with students, teaching methods. Facilities ate the school should be provided at the priority basis so that the children receive education without any difficulty.
• Steps should be taken to raise awareness among parents and other agents of socialization on effective mechanism of handlingand supervising the family. Campaigns needs to launchedthrough print, broadcasting and telecasting media enabling theheads of the families to safeguard the future of their children. In addition to such awareness promotion campaigns a series ofsessions with parents/guardians and teachers to mobilize the civilsociety at district level to address the issue properly.
• Co-curricular activities need to be promotedat village level so that children could engage them in productive leisure activities. The interests of the children related to contribute a lot in shaping up the child’s life. Such type of intervention will divert the child attention o from activities having negative impact on their lives.
• While looking at prevailing country situation in which children are being attracted by the antisocial agents like terrorist , extremists, it is recommended to establish institutions like Child protection bureaus in other cities where they are missing. So that children can seek accommodation. Learning facilities should be enhanced at these centres so that the frequency of such type of incidents could be minimised.
• Government should take necessary steps in developing the rural areas of Punjab so that a feeling of deprivation could be avoided in the mind of children.


Socio- Anthropological Analysis of the Unfavourable Circumstances Compelling Children Leave Homes
(A Case Study of Rural Punjab)

Date of interview:————————————-

1- Basic Information:
1.1. Name of Bureau: Lahore Faisalabad Rawalpindi
1.2. Name of respondent:————————Age:————————————-
1.3. Gender: Male Female
4. District: ______________________________

2- Family:
2.1 Family structure of the respondents
Nuclear Joint Broken
2.2 Family size of the respondents
2.3 Educational attainment of father/ guardian of the respondents
Illiterate Primary Middle Matric
Intermediate Graduation Masters Above
2.4 Educational attainment of mothers of the respondents
Illiterate Primary Middle Matric
Intermediate Graduation Masters Above
2.5. Source of family income
Daily wages farmer Job
2.6 Occupation of mother of the respondent
House wife Works in others home Job
3. Family Environment
3.1 Family Atmosphere
Loving Conflicting and tense Compromising

3.2 Treatment on Poor Performance at Home
Handle with Love Punished verbally abuse others——

4. Educational Attainment
4.1 School Going Status of the Child
Yes No
4.2 If yes, in which class do you read?
4.3 Education performance of the children at school
Excellent Good Average Poor
4.4. Who pay the expenses of his/her education?
Parents/guardian other relatives Earned by themselves 4.5 Treatment on poor performance at School
Handle with Love Punished Verbally abuse

5 Other factors
5.1 Respondents engaged in child labour
Yes No
5.2 If yes then treatment at Work Place
Handle with Love punished verbally
5.3. What are the key child leisure activities?
Sports Watching movies/TV Wandering here and there
Others please specify ————————
5,4 Managing financial need of children through?
Pocket money money borrow from others
Earn bythemselves Theft/stolen
5.5 Satisfaction over facilities at home town
Fully to some extent not
6. Incidence of Running Away
6.1 Reasons of Runaway
• Punishment at home by parents
• Poor academic achievement/ education related issues
• Punishment at school
• Difficulty in finding meal/ Poverty within family
• Lack of basic facilities
• Media
6.2 Duration of being Away

6.3 Frequency of Running away
first time 2nd 3rd time
6.4 Runny alone or with other friends
Alone other friend/s
6.5 How did you manage your travel expenses?
Pocket Money Theft/stolen Borrow from others
6.6 From where the child protection bureau rescued you
Street-wandering here &there Shrine
Working in market
6.7 Satisfaction over facilities at the bureau
Yes No Neutral
6.8 Activities after running away from home
Wandering and roaming around Begging
Staying at shrine and working for survival
6.9 Who motivated respondent to run away from home
Friend relative anyone else
6.10 Desire to Go Home
Yes No Neutral
6.11 Reasons of Going Back Home
Missing family members Got bored Forced to go back home
6.12 Families of the respondents contacted by whom
Respondents him/herself Bureau staff
Friend of the respondent Not applicable (Not contacted)
6.13 Expected reaction of family members after being contacted
Excited Irritated Neutral
6.14 Who is responsible for creating such type of circumstance
Themselves Parents teachers Neutral
6.15 Child’s Repentance on incident
Yes No Neutral


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