A 10-year-old boy died in Vietnam. He fell into a 25-centimeter diameter concrete pillar at a construction site while scavenging for scrap metal he planned to sell at junk shops. The small boy, who weighed no less than 20kg, Hao Nam, came from a poor family and wanted to enroll in a taekwondo class he saw advertised, so he started saving money by scavenging.

International news reports say the mother of Nam said “he wanted to join a martial art class and that the fee of VND60,000 (US$2.56) a month was more than his parents could afford. Nam was left with no choice but to pick up scraps and sell them to earn the money he needed. By the time the accident happened, he had earned VND21,000.” Nam was stuck in the concrete pillar for four days and despite concerted efforts by the private sector and the government, he died and the sad part is, his frail body was still stuck in that pillar, a meeting of the minds of hundreds of professionals and locals, could not be enough to save the poor child out of his wretched death.

Nam was heard crying in pain on the first day, but eventually, no sounds could be heard altogether, which was gleaned to mean his death. It pains the public to think about the death of a small boy,
his life full of promise and his future, although looking bleak with a poor family now, could be enough for him to become a gamechanger and take his fate to a destiny, different from that of his parents.

We will never know. Reports also say “In Vietnam, construction sites are extremely attractive to poor children in rural and remote areas. It is a strange world for them, full of curious things to play with, and especially, full of things that could be picked up for sale, in comparison to barren fields that have nothing to offer.” Poverty has led to the death of the small boy in Vietnam and it is disturbing that more children have died in similar deplorable circumstances, all in the name
of trying to earn a few extra coins.

It makes you think about our own country, the Philippines, a bit similar to Vietnam, but in completely different cultures. Poverty levels are a bit the same, but of course different strokes for different folks. Here in the Philippines, teenagers are killed by the police, in the name of a drug war.
Again different strokes for different folks.

Amianan Balita Ngayon