SOMETIMES we just don't know how lucky we are.

I was in Hyderabad looking at one of the local programmes supported by our Department for International Development and I called in at the Don Bosco Navajeevan - a home for abandoned and destitute boys.

The boys are thrown out by their parents or are simply found wandering the streets or hanging around the railway station. In the last month before my visit, the home had admitted 288 boys, 15 aged under five, six between six and ten, 245 between 11 and 15 and 21 under 21.

The place was as basic as you can get. Iron beds stacked in a dormitory and old newspapers used for writing paper but an absolute haven compared to life on the streets.

The priest in charge, Fr Bala Showry, asked if he could speak to me privately with one of the boys. When I met the 14-year-old lad, Ibrahim Abdul Nasir, I was amazed to hear him speaking in a distinctive South Yorkshire accent.

It turned out that he was from Sheffield and had lived there for 12 years. In December his father had taken him to India, taken his passport and left him to fend for himself on the streets of an unknown city in a strange country.

I was shown the receipt that the Andhra Pradesh Police Department had obtained for the lad.

It said: "Received, one boy, aged about 14".

I have got the Sheffield MP and the High Commission on the case and got some money to help the poor kid but I can't even begin to imagine how he must be feeling.

Unwanted and abandoned in a way that you wouldn't wish on a stray dog, he faced a grim future.

He'll get some help but there are hundreds of other child labourers and street kids who represent the downside of the Indian economic miracle.

We just don't know how lucky we are.