Accessing the state of street children in Delhi

Programs to improve the quality of daily life of citizens

Accessing the state of street children in Delhi

Postby Chitra Mishra » Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:32 am

India’s development is hampered because of the high rates of illiteracy that prevail in its young population.Literacy enables a person to think rationally, to be understanding, to be more responsible and to make his/her own decisions. A literate person is aware of all his fundamental rights and duties. Literacy is the ultimate solution to fight problems like communalism, terrorism and under development.The role of education in facilitating social and economic progress is well recognized. It opens up opportunities leading to both individual and group entitlements. Education, in its broadest sense of development of youth, is the most crucial input for empowering people with skills and knowledge and giving them access to productive employment in future. Improvements in education are not only expected to enhance efficiency but also augment the overall quality of life. The Eleventh Plan places the highest priority on education as a central instrument for achieving rapid and inclusive growth. It presents a comprehensive strategy for strengthening the education sector covering all segments of the education pyramid.

Illiteracy can bring down even the most powerful nations down, so if we are to become a developed nation,the government should first remove the problem of illiteracy by introducing effective programs with proper implementation and budget. It is ironical that even today, our leaders and people’s representatives give literacy a very low priority, pitting poverty alleviation, food, clothing, shelter, work, health etc. above it. Rakshak Foundation aims at literacy as part of the development process, as an endeavor to improve the quality of life, as the process of building awareness among the weaker sections, as part of democratization of political power, as the arrangement to give their due, to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. They are unable to appreciate the relevance of literacy in matters like infant mortality, immunization, children’s participation in primary schools, population growth, family planning, women’s emancipation, social evils like child marriage, dowry, bride burning and so on. Neglecting the issue of illiteracy can hurt the development of India very badly. Thus, this project endeavor in strengthening the system of Education.
Chitra Mishra
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Re: Accessing the state of street children in Delhi

Postby Chitra Mishra » Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:37 am

The policies and laws on various issues pertaining to children such as child labour, education and child protection in addition to the special categories of children like disabled children and children of marginalized communities

1.To facilitate an understanding various legislation related to children in India
2. To analyse the various provisions in the legislation and identify challenges for
its implementation
3. To develop a perspective on the legal and policy framework related to children
in idea
4. To critically evaluate the provisions related to children various other

Legislation of Child Labour
Legislation of Education
Legislation and Bills for Child in Need of Care and Protection
Legislation for Children in Conflict with Law
Family Law and Family Courts
Other legislation related to Children
Chitra Mishra
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Re: Accessing the state of street children in Delhi

Postby Chitra Mishra » Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:48 am

A staggering 30 million children in India belonged to families living in conditions of extreme distress and deprivation. Violence against girls, child labour, children living on the streets, trafficking, violence in schools and violence in conflict situations have all been reportedly on the rise. The need for specific instrumentality for children stems from these pressing situations. Juvenile justice policy in India is largely governed by the constitutional mandate given under Article 15 that guarantees special attention to children through necessary and special laws and policies that safeguard their rights. The Right to equality, protection of life and personal liberty and the right against exploitation is enshrined in Articles 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 23 and 24. The Constitution of India recognizes the vulnerable position of children and their
right to protection. Driven by constitutional guarantees for protecting children as well as recognizing international concern for child, the Indian state has made numerous arrangements in this direction. To give effect child protection, a
number of laws were brought in.

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has been instrumental in this direction and it has particularly catered to children in crisis situation such as street children, children who have been abused, abandoned children, orphaned
children, children in conflict with the law, and children affected by conflict or disasters, etc. The official stand on child protection is marked by many programmes, in keeping with the current developments, is visible in the approach of the
Ministry of Women and Child Development. The National Plan of Action for Children 2005 articulated the rights agenda for the development of children. The existing mechanism of child protection at official level mainly include the
following programmes:
• Juvenile Justice Act
• Integrated Programme for Street Children
• Shishu Greh Scheme
• Scheme for Working Children in Need of Care and Protection
• Rajiv Gandhi National Creche Scheme for the Children of Working
• Scheme to Combat the Trafficking of women and Children for
Commercial Sexual Exploitation
• Central Adoption resource Agency (CARA)
• National Child Labour Project (NCLP) for the rehabilitation of child labour
In addition to the above, the Ministry has just released its draft scheme ‘ The Integrated Child Protection’. This scheme envisages a holistic approach to combat the issues affecting children, In order to reach out to all children, in particular to those in difficult circumstances, the Ministry of Women and Child Development proposes to combine its existing child protection schemes under one centrally sponsored scheme titled Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS). The proposed ICPS brings together multiple vertical schemes under one comprehensive child protection programme and integrates interventions for protecting children and preventing harm.
Chitra Mishra
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Re: Accessing the state of street children in Delhi

Postby Chitra Mishra » Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:54 am

The discussion on the issue of street children is a poignant one. Apart from the underlying argument of the cause of these children venturing out on the streets as being primarily driven out of hunger and also the need to earn a meagre livelihood, it is equally concerning to know the implication of the same on the child. Loss of childhood and Malnutrition and unhygienic appearance is certainly "visible" in their implications. What lies beneath is the ultimate deterioration of values and morals leading also to loss of personal development.

What effective role does state hav to play?

A vulnerable child is entitled to certain rights of protection and development, and the onus of providing those lies with the State.
The UNCRC, in its 54 articles and 2 optional protocols defines a child, defines the rights of the child, and outlines the role of the State and emphasizes the importance of the family in the protection and development of the child. Article 20 specifically points out the responsibilities of the State towards children in need of care and protection-
1. A child temporarily or permanently deprived of his or her family environment, or in whose own best interests cannot be allowed to remain in that environment, shall be entitled to special Centre for Civil Society protection and assistance provided by the State.
2. States Parties shall in accordance with their national laws ensure alternative care for such a child.
3. Such care could include, inter alia, foster placement, kafalah of Islamic law, adoption or if necessary placement in suitable institutions for the care of children. When considering solutions, due regard shall be paid to the desirability of continuity in a child's upbringing and to the child's ethnic, religious, cultural and linguistic background.

Article 39 refers to the role of the state in the social reintegration of neglected children- States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to promote physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of a child victim of: any form of neglect, exploitation, or abuse; torture or any other form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; or armed conflicts. Such recovery and reintegration shall take place in an environment which fosters the health, self-respect and dignity of the child.

In India,The Children Act 1960 was the first major Act dealing with street children, initially passed for Union Territories, defined street children as ‘neglected’ children (including a child found without having any home or settled place of abode or any ostensible means of subsistence or is found destitute, whether he is an orphan or not). Although the Act seemed to be concentrate more towards delinquent children it set the precedent for instruction regarding care of neglected
children. The Children Act of 1960 was the first perspective the government took for rehabilitating street children- through institutionalization; setting a precedent of sorts, for the perspective has not changed majorly in the last 50 years.
In trying to be in accordance with the various agreements signed in the UN about children, particularly the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, India replaced the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986 with the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act in 2000. It was replaced by the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection Children) Act in 2000. The Act, which is applicable to the whole of India except the state of Jammu and Kashmir, includes street children in the category of ‘children in need of care and protection.’
The Act lays down methods for rehabilitating street children which constitute sending them to children homes, shelter homes. It states that restoration of the child shall be the primary objective of the homes, implying that child should be restored to his/her parents or adopted parents as the case may be. The Act also has emphasized the role of NGOs in the process of care for street children.
Chitra Mishra
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Re: Accessing the state of street children in Delhi

Postby Chitra Mishra » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:57 am

hi all

Was going through the website of Salaam Balak Trust. ... 7122740575

Residential Shelter Homes
Vocational Training
Meals at New Delhi Railway Station
= Ninety-eight SBT children qualified for their higher and senior secondary grades and 12
SBT boys have enrolled in universities since SBT's founding in 1988.
= Approximately half of SBT's children are enrolled in public and private schools, and the
other half are enrolled in non-formal education programs.
= SBT and the Delhi Gov't Dept. of Education launched a mobile learning center bus which
travels to four slums every day to provide non-formal education and a mid-day meal. In
one year, the mobile center has enrolled 140 boys and girls, who were out-of-school, in
government schools.
= Of the four homes run by SBT, Aasra has been licensed as a “shelter home” by the Dept.
of Social Work under the Juvenile Justice Act, and the Apna Ghar home has also received
recognition as a “Children's Home” under the JJ Act.
= Staff and volunteers took groups of boys from Aasra on many weekend outings to
museums, parks, India Gate, Raj Ghat and other locations around Delhi.
= 50 boys from Aasra Shelter spent three days up in the mountains near Dehradun, and
150 boys from Apna Ghar and Armaan Shelters went to Kerala in southern India
= SBT's very own shelter for girls, Arushi, was inaugurated in a new building owned by
SBT in Gurgaon. SBT's dream was made possible with generous grants from the
Japan Foundation (Rs. 3 million), Monsoon Accessories (Rs. 3.5 million), Esprit
Company, GAP Inc. and others. Fifty girls between the ages of 5 to 18 moved into the
new facility in July 2008.
= Vocational training is essential for helping children enter mainstream society. SBT has
opened two computer training centers at Apna Ghar and Armaan shelters that offers basic
computer skills and an extensive program in multi-media and the creative and retail arts.
= Since SBT's founding in 1988, 586 boys and girls have made SBT proud and taken jobs
with Pizza Hut, Vivek Sahni Design House, Unitech International, DSA Construction
Company, Tata Sky, Café Coffee Day, Teamwork Films, and SBT (Ishara Puppet
Theater Trust and as SBT shelter counselors) among others, enabling some of these
children to move out of the shelters to live independently.
= Vicky, who lived at Apna Ghar shelter home for 8 years, trained as a photographer. He
has been shortlisted from among 30,000 applicants by the Mayback Foundaiton in the US
to cover the reopening of the World Trade Center.
= Brijesh, Shekhar and Anil are taking courses in travel and tourism from the Indira Gandhi
National Open University (IGNOU), and they work as SBT City Walk guides.
= A new kitchen has been set up at Paharganj/New Delhi Railroad Station: 250-300 lunches
and 150 dinners are served daily

Great going. we need more of this effort.

Also going thruough the Education Development Index
Chitra Mishra
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 3:32 pm

Re: Accessing the state of street children in Delhi

Postby Chitra Mishra » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:59 am

Salaam Baalak Trust, set up in 1988, tries to fill this void through
our 11 centres in New Delhi and Gurgaon, aided by over 100 staff
and an equal number of volunteers. We try to create a sense of
belonging, and provide a secure space where dreaming is

Planning to visit the office and have a first hand impression.
would love to seek any suggestion:)
Chitra Mishra
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 3:32 pm

Re: Accessing the state of street children in Delhi

Postby Chitra Mishra » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:09 am

Child labor in India is a human right issue for the whole world. It is a serious and extensive problem, with many children under the age of fourteen working in carpet making factories, glass blowing units and making fireworks with bare little hands. According to the statistics given by Indian government there are 20 million child laborers in the country, while other agencies claim that it is 50 million.
In Northern India the exploitation of little children for labor is an accepted practice and perceived by the local population as a necessity to alleviate poverty. Carpet weaving industries pay very low wages to child laborers and make them work for long hours in unhygienic conditions. Children working in such units are mainly migrant workers from Northern India, who are shunted here by their families to earn some money and send it to them. Their families dependence on their income, forces them to endure the onerous work conditions in the carpet factories.The situation of child laborers in India is desperate. Children work for eight hours at a stretch with only a small break for meals. The meals are also frugal and the children are ill nourished. Most of the migrant children who cannot go home, sleep at their work place, which is very bad for their health and development. Seventy five percent of Indian population still resides in rural areas and are very poor. Children in rural families who are ailing with poverty perceive their children as an income generating resource to supplement the family income. Parents sacrifice their children’s education to the growing needs of their younger siblings in such families and view them as wage earners for the entire clan.
The Indian government has tried to take some steps to alleviate the problem of child labor in recent years by invoking a law that makes the employment of children below 14 illegal, except in family owned enterprises. However this law is rarely adhered to due to practical difficulties. Factories usually find loopholes and circumvent the law by declaring that the child laborer is a distant family member. Also in villages there is no law implementing mechanism, and any punitive actions for commercial enterprises violating these laws is almost non existent.

Child labor is a conspicuous problem in India. Its prevalence is evident in the child work participation rate, which is more than that of other developing countries. Poverty is the reason for child labor in India. The meager income of child laborers is also absorbed by their families. The paucity of organized banking in the rural areas creates a void in taking facilities, forcing poor families to push their children in harsh labor, the harshest being bonded labor.

Bonded labor traps the growing child in a hostage like condition for years. The importance of formal education is also not realized, as the child can be absorbed in economically beneficial activities at a young age. Moreover there is no access to proper education in the remote areas of rural India for most people, which leaves the children with no choice.

What is the ministry of Child Welfare waiting for?
Is not this issue a part of viscious circle of poverty,unemployment and over population?
Chitra Mishra
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 3:32 pm

Re: Accessing the state of street children in Delhi

Postby Chitra Mishra » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:11 am


The future of a community is in the well being of its children. The above fact is beautifully expressed by Wordsworth in his famous lines “child is father of the man”. So it becomes imperative for the health of a nation to protect its children from premature labor which is hazardous to their mental, physical, educational and spiritual development needs. It is urgently required to save children from the murderous clutches of social injustice and educational deprivation, and ensure that they are given opportunities for healthy, normal and happy growth.

The venerable Indian poet Rabindranth Tagore has said time and again, that every country is absolutely bound by its duty to provide free primary education to its children. It is important to remember that industrialization can afford to wait but youth cannot be captured for long. It is imperative that the basic tenet made in article 24 of the Indian constitution - prohibiting the employment of any child below fourteen years of age, in a factory, mine or any other hazardous employment be stopped – be adhered to. There should be no ambiguity in ensuring the right of every child to free basic education and the promise of the constitution should be fully implemented in the here and now.

Projects related with human resource development, dedicated to the child welfare issues must be given top priority by the central and state governments to stop the menace of child labor. Child labor laws need to be strictly implemented at the central and state levels. Corruption and negligence in child labor offices and employee circles should be dealt with very strictly by the judiciary and the police force.

The development needs of growing children can only be provided for, by stopping the onerous practice of child labor in organized and non organized sectors with utmost sincerity. This is the only way a nation can train its children to be wholesome future citizens, who are happy and prosperous. The provision of equal and proper opportunities for the educational needs of growing children in accordance with constitutional directives will go a long way in stopping the evil practice of child labor.
Concerned about the future of its children India has implemented a country- wide ban recently, on children below fourteen working in the hospitality sector and as domestics. It is intended that those who are found to violate the law will be fined with 430 dollars and sent into rigorous imprisonment for two years. Children in India are not allowed to work in mines, factories and other hazardous jobs already. Two more professions have been added in a list of fifty seven occupations which were considered hazardous for a child’s development needs in the ‘child labor act’ passed in 1986. Childs rights activists are waxing eloquent in high pitched voices about the absolute importance of stopping child labor. But legislation in this regard is just like an intention. It is more important to take development measures to ensure its practical application by eliminating the reasons of child labor from our society. The reasons giving birth to child labor are poverty, illiteracy, scarcity of schools, ignorance, socially regressive practices, blind customs and traditions, migration and last but not the least corruption amongst employees and government labor organizations. People should not be able to get away with employing and exploiting children.
Chitra Mishra
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Re: Accessing the state of street children in Delhi

Postby Chitra Mishra » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:12 am
YouTube - Street Children in Delhi
Chitra Mishra
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