By Nita Bhalla

NEW DELHI, Dec 10 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – S even-year-old Siyam stands speechless when asked what he would like to do when he grows up. He stares blankly as if being asked the most ridiculous of questions.

The boy, dressed in a faded red t-shirt with a picture of a superhero and tattered blue shorts, has never been to school and cannot see a world beyond the narrow, filthy lanes of the slum settlement in New Delhi where he has lived in all his life.

For as long as he can remember, he has stayed at home to look after his four younger siblings while his mother cleans homes and his father works on building sites for a daily wage.

“I want to go to school like the other children,” he says eventually, standing outside his one-room home in the south Delhi slum. “I want to wear that nice blue uniform and learn.”

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