"children grew up in them becoming partners in survival ".why it is said?

chapter:lost spring

Dear Student,
The people of Seemapuri, were ragpickers. The adults knew that rag-picking was the only way they could survive and earn their bread. To them amongst the wastage lay the gold they needed to survive. However, for children, it was more than just survival. The only childhood that the kids knew of was rag-picking. They were each other's partners in this game of survival, where they woke up to waste and garbage. Wherever they were able to find food, they put up their tents and lived there for survival. The garbage landfills became their homes. 
Hence the author says "Children grew up in them, becoming partners in survival".

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