Torture in  [India]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [India]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [India]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [India]  [other countries]

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                    

Republic of India

India's diverse economy encompasses traditional village farming, modern agriculture, handicrafts, a wide range of modern industries, and a multitude of services. Services are the major source of economic growth, accounting for more than half of India's output with less than one third of its labor force. Slightly more than half of the work force is in agriculture, leading the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to articulate a rural economic development program that includes creating basic infrastructure to improve the lives of the rural poor and boost economic performance.

The economy has posted an average growth rate of more than 7% in the decade since 1997, reducing poverty by about 10 percentage points.


Description: Description: India

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in India.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.


More kids flee abuse than poverty

Express News Service, Ahmedabad, November 20, 2006

[accessed 24 May 2011]

Contrary to popular myth, more children leave home due to a disturbed domestic environment than abject poverty, according to a report from the Ahmedabad Study Action Group (ASAG) and the Gujarat Institute of Development Research (GIDR).  The study ranks familial harassment as the top reason behind children running away from home.

On the streets where they live [PDF]

[accessed 24 May 2011]

Delhi’s streetchildren have set up an alternative forum for themselves. They meet, discuss problems, and even publish their own newspaper.  There are 400,000 streetchildren in Delhi. The capital’s streets and roads are their workplace. For 100,000 of these children, the streets double as home. They have nowhere else to go. Streetchildren work as rag-pickers, in tea-stalls and dhabhas (roadside eateries), as shoeshine boys or vendors. But street life can be unpleasant and risky. They face physical abuse, the callousness of policemen, are vulnerable to drugs and to health insecurities.

Police Abuse And Killings Of Street Children In India

Human Rights Watch Children's Rights Project, November 1996

[accessed 24 May 2011]

Indian street children are routinely detained illegally, beaten and tortured and sometimes killed by police. Several factors contribute to this phenomenon: police perceptions of street children, widespread corruption and a culture of police violence, the inadequacy and non-implementation of legal safeguards, and the level of impunity that law enforcement officials enjoy.

Journey to the streets

Harsh Mander, The Hindu, Jul 13, 2008

[accessed 24 May 2011]

HARSH NECESSITIES - Abuse often drives boys from their homes, who flee their families to escape intolerable abuse. These are acts of incredible courage for children so young, echoed and repeated in the lives of tens of thousands of street children who decide at very young ages to bravely escape violence and abuse in their homes — alcoholic fathers, physical and sexual violence — by fending for themselves, at whatever cost. But we also have children who were lost or abandoned by their families at such a young age that they do not recall their origins. The streets are the only home that they remember.

NO OTHER HOME - Some are also simply born to the streets. In Chennai, in particular, we encountered several families which had lived for several generations on the same piece of pavement. Their great grandparents came to the city, sometimes 80 years earlier or longer, and the patriarchs colonised gradually “their” part of the pavement. New generations were born, one following the next, and they all grew up in the same stretch of pavement. This was the only home that the large extended family now knew. Mohan, a street boy in Chennai, said, “Homelessness is not a new thing for me. I was born into streets, and it was here that I was brought up.” He is convinced that they will be forced to return to the streets. Likewise, Mythili is another of “homeless lineage”. When she was a child, her father was irresponsible, “a drunkard, he never cared for us”, she recounts, and her mother fed them by selling food cooked by her on the pavements to other homeless people.


*** ARCHIVES ***

CHILDLINE - Toll Free Call 1098 - Night & Day

[accessed 12 August 2014]

CHILDLINE reaches out to all children in need of care and protection such as: street children, child labourers, children who have been abused, child victims of flesh trade, differently-abled children, child addicts, children in conflict with the law, children in institutions, mentally challenged children, HIV/AIDs infected children, children affected by conflict and disaster, child political refugees, children whose families are in crises.

Delhi Govt. Started the toll free 'Youth Phone service’  1-800-11-6888

The Government of Delhi running the 'youth' helpline named Yuva Phone line in Delhi. The counselors are available round the clock on toll free no 1800116888.  The helpline is specially for students.

24-hour children's helpdesk at CMBT

The Hindu, Tamil Nadu - Chennai, Mar 22, 2007

[accessed 24 May 2011]

The Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW) and Childline has set up a 24-hour helpdesk for children in the Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus (CMBT) complex.  "Since last April, we have rescued about 100 children from the CMBT. Some have run away from home, while others are being brought to work in the city," said S. A. Jayamary, Street Children Project Officer, ICCW, Tamil Nadu.  The helpdesk, inaugurated on Wednesday, seeks to strengthen the rescue efforts at the point of the children's entry into the city.

Helplines for children are 1098 and 26260097.

Website to track missing children launched

Anasuya Menon, The Hindu, Coimbatore, Feb 10, 2007

[accessed 10 February 2011]

Anyone who has lost their child can post a message on this website and a search will be set in motion simultaneously in 40 cities in the country.  Launched by Don Bosco National Forum for Youth at Risk in association with UNICEF, will be closely watched and monitored by child welfare organisations in all major cities in the country and a search will be generated immediately. The Don Bosco National Forum for Youth at Risk is a major partner of Childline India Foundation and extends service to hundreds of children who are victims of war, conflict, natural calamities, sexual exploitation, trafficking and HIV/AIDS. They also take care of street and working children.

National Center For Missing Children India

[accessed 24 May 2011]

National Center For Missing Children (NCMC) is a non-political, non-profit making and a non-governmental organization offering the services free of charge.

Video Playlists for India

[accessed 24 May 2011]

There are an increasing number of street children videos now available that constitute a supplementary source of information for researchers, especially for those who may not have experienced the reality of street children.  [Playlist developed by Brian Horne of &]


[accessed 24 May 2011]

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

[accessed 10 February 2011]

[2032] Children work on the streets doing odd jobs, as rag dealers, shoe shiners and vendors.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 26 February 2004

[accessed 10 February 2011]

[76] The Committee welcomes the existence of the Integrated Program for Street Children but remains concerned at the growing number of street children in the State party, due notably to the structural situation of the State party as well as to the lack of proactive policies and programs of prevention and for the support of the family.

The brave tender souls

Experience by Salman Nizami, Greater Kashmir, 28 October 2010

[accessed Oct. 29, 2010]

The weather has suddenly turned colder in valley. The sun is hidden behind the clouds and the jagged peaks of the mountains which overlook the city are thick with snow. The street children are sheltering from the chill - huddling in doorways. One boy I often see in the morning charging around near the guest house in Shalimar where I was stayed covers his head with his ragged and blackened jacket to give himself some relief from the cold. There are numerous children who wait outside the guest house hoping for some work with me on the laptop, According to them working on laptop means earning good money. Most of them are contract labourers, shoe shiners, handicraft, fruit, vegetable vendor boys and I have got to know a number of them.

There is Ibrahim whose serious face contrasts with his pink Mickey Mouse baseball cap, and Irfaan who is painfully thin, and constantly asks the same question: "Mister, how are you?" And then there is Wajid, with his brown curly mop of hair and cheeky smile. My favourite is Aabid, a shy boy, who talks slowly in Kashmiri language. His sombre expression belies his young age just 13. They all have similar tales, a father dead due to the Kashmir conflict, numerous brothers and sisters, and a family dependent on their meagre earnings for their daily bread.

Streetkids in grip of STDs

Times News Network (The Times of India) TNN, Kolkata, Oct 19, 2010

[accessed 24 May 2011]

Did you know that almost every child living on the city's pavements is subjected to sexual abuse? If this doesn't surprise you, you should know that of these children a vast majority has contracted sexually transmitted diseases?    A recently-concluded survey among streetchildren in certain parts of the city show that at least 15,000 of them are either HIV positive or have contracted sexually transmitted diseases like Syphilis, Gonorrhea, warts, hepatitis and herpes. The survey was recently conducted by the National Institute for Cholera and Enteric Diseases (Niced) along with Unicef, a number of NGOs who have been working with street children. The survey was conducted in 54 wards of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation.    According to the report, a copy of which is to be sent to the ministry of health, most of the kids in question are between 18 months and 14 years of age. While only 15,000 have already contracted infections, almost every street child that the survey team came across during the survey, has been exposed to sexual abuse.

"The youngest are the worst off. Kids as young as six to eight years old are forced to have sex night after night for a paltry sum of Rs 50! Of this they have to give up Rs 40," revealed Goutam Panja, spokesperson of the NGO, Network Positive. About 30 kids between 18 months and 14 years of age who are affected by sexual diseases have enrolled in this NGO as members.   The survey found that at least 80% of the affected kids are orphans who have left their original "homes" to migrate elsewhere and are working as child labourers. "Their right to work is attached with their willingness to offer themselves for sexual abuse by employers and sometimes even by clients'.

Hidden hunger

Harsh Mander, The Hindu, Apr 19, 2009

[accessed 24 May 2011]

SACRIFICING EVERYTHING ELSE - If they still manage to eat nutritious food, it is to the sacrifice of almost everything else. In Patna, we met Deepak studying under a street light. He is the 10-year-old son of a rickshaw-puller, who lives with his father on the pavement. His father wanted him to become a “sahib”, and therefore brought him to study in a school in the city, instead of leaving him in his village with his mother. He is a caring father, who spends a great deal of what he earns to feed his son well. He buys for him every night a packet of biscuits for three rupees. This is his breakfast the next morning. Later the boy eats roti with vegetables bought from a roadside hotel, and a small cup of milk. Ganesh, Deepak’s father says, “Even if I don’t eat, I buy a cup of milk for my Deepak everyday.” In school, there is khichri or gruel in the State financed midday meal. Ganesh buys an egg for Deepak once in few days.

Indian street urchin bank weathers global crisis

Frederic Spohr, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (German Press Agency) DPA, New Delhi, Mar 20, 2009

[accessed 24 May 2011]

Bank manager Sudhir has never heard of credit derivates and has no clue about investment funds. He is just about capable of doing basic arithmetic and calculating interest rates.   But while his counterparts in posh Western office towers worry about gaping holes in their balance sheets, the 13-year-old's business is going strong.    Still, the bank's staff and customers are far from free of fear of losing their livelihoods. They are street children in India's capital, New Delhi.

The Wild Dogged ones

Samarth Pathak, Hardnews, Delhi, 2009

[accessed 24 May 2011]

An important aspect of street life is that most of these kids are in the dawn of puberty. For them, the mix of testosteronic rush and freedom is the gateway to all kinds of ‘experiments'. Very early in life, these kids develop a serious dependence on drugs. It is whiteners and glues for the fattoos (who are beginners, usually aged between 8 to 10 years) while the dadas (or pros, aged 12 to 16 years) do ganja (marijuana) and charas. "A street kid, on an average, earns about Rs 70-80 a day. Out of this, Rs 30 goes in procuring drugs. One may not get food to eat, but a day without drugs is impossible. Drug peddlers and addas operate openly in the bylanes of Paharganj and Jama Masjid right under the nose of the police," says Javed.

Besides drugs, sex is rampant. Young boys and girls become intimate after facing struggles together and fall in love. This fondness usually leads to sexual encounters among children. Homosexuality is common, and it is the younger kids of the lot who end up being exploited by their gang leaders, pimps, local goons and cops. "Usually, the kids indulge in unprotected intercourse, which leaves them vulnerable to all kinds of sexually transmitted diseases. Pregnancies in adolescent girls are routine. They either deliver the babies and run or lose their life in the process," says Shekhar.

Street children usually live in groups, and operate as one unit in their areas. At the New Delhi railway station, territories are specifically divided among numerous gangs, with each gang ‘owning' one platform. Every group consists of 10-14 members, and the eldest of the lot (and the strongest) is the undisputed leader. Boundaries are meant to be respected, and no trespassing is tolerated. Fights break out often, especially over food and money.

Still, in the midst of the hardships, friendship blooms. No street kid eats alone. Food is shared between all members of the group, even if it means sharing a single loaf of bread among eight of them. Anil recounts, "Once, one of my friends told us that there was a wedding near Ajmeri Gate. So we all quietly gate-crashed and gorged on chicken and biryani. When the guards came, we all grabbed whatever was around and managed to bring back some food for the others too."

Save the Children in India CEO Tells the Truth About "Slumdog Millionaire" and Child Poverty

Thomson Reuters Foundation, March 11, 2009

[accessed 24 May 2011]

Q. Save the Children is active in Delhi, the nation's capital. How many children live in poverty in that city?

A. It's hard to have a precise figure but thousands of children live in slums that lack the most basic of amenities such as drainage, water supply, sanitation. And there is no infrastructure worth the name. After Slumdog Millionaire there has been much talk in the Western media about the life of children living in slums in Mumbai but one cannot ignore the reality elsewhere in the country: Millions of children across towns and cities in India have no access to education and health care and live in deplorable conditions in slums.

Squalor's children honour slum gods

Rhys Blakely, The Australian, 24 February 2009

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 24 May 2011]

One of the main reservations this young audience has about the film's accuracy concerns its depiction of the gang master who rounds up children to set them begging and mutilates them to make a bigger profit.

"It doesn't happen like that," says Vipin, who claims to be 14. "Most of the beggars stay with their families. Their mothers and fathers are in charge."

The children say that nobody in their neighbourhood has been mutilated deliberately, similar to the fictional youngster who isblinded in Slumdog, but they believe thatsuch atrocities do happen elsewhere inMumbai.

Among Chowpatty's child beggars, the physical scars are more subtle but no less invidious than those depicted in the film: the small babies who are carried alongside busy roads by young girl beggars (a practice alluded to in Slumdog) quickly develop acute respiratory problems and many are malnourished. Ailments such as scabies, tuberculosis and rickets are common. Health workers who deal with street families regularly see babies whose skulls have not formed properly because of calcium deficiencies.

Virtually everyone in the audience has been chased and beaten by the police, the scenario that forms the backdrop to the film's opening credits. Asked if they find the film insulting, the children reply with a bemused "no". It shows real things, they reiterate: poverty, prostitution, murder, theft, blackmail, religious violence, the exploitation of the weak. It's good for outsiders to see how they exist.

Surviving on a little luck and lots of street smarts

Mark Magnier, The Los Angeles Times, New Delhi, February 21, 2009,0,1071590.story

[accessed 24 May 2011]

CAMARADERIE - Sahni joined three other homeless boys, sleeping under a stairway on Platform 12 or on the roof of a kiosk on Platform 5 as streams of people rushed past to their families, weddings, business meetings. Despite occasional bouts of homesickness, he felt great freedom in living on the street.   "It was fun," he said with a laugh. "Really fun."   The four boys didn't pool what they earned scavenging, selling the items at dingy recycling stalls near the station. But working in a pack prevented other ragpickers from muscling in on their turf. On a good day he made $6. But $2 was more typical.   Some of their best hauls came from the long-distance trains arriving on Platform 1, which had better-quality refuse. They'd scoop up anything of value, including the railroad's metal trays, before cleaners or railway police chased them away. Twice Sahni was badly beaten by police, who tended to catch the slow, weak and inexperienced. After that he was more vigilant.

Love and longing on the streets

Harsh Mander, The Hindu, Feb 08, 2009

[accessed 24 May 2011]

LASTING RELATIONSHIPS - For those without a family — either in the village or on the streets — new bonds often grow on the streets between strangers, which may prove closer and more loyal than many ties of blood. As many as a quarter of the homeless people we met said they shared their life on the streets with adopted relatives.

I recall a street boy who adopted a disabled old man as his grandfather: he would carry him long distance on his back, and for years save from his own earnings in rag-picking for food, medicines and even the old man’s addictions.

A mentally ill woman occupied the same space on the pavement outside New Delhi railway station for years, but would eat only if one particular street boy would bring her food, and the boy, himself less than 10 years old, made it a point to share his earnings buying food for her everyday.

SHARING TO SURVIVE - Street boys, cut off from their families in their village and alone in the city, tend to live in gangs, sharing everything — food, clothes, intoxicants, sleeping under the same sheet — teaching each other trades like rag-picking and recycling drinking water bottles, protecting each other from street violence and the police, and feeding each other in sickness.

Cops are villains who make our lives miserable: Street children

Poonam Aggarwal, NDTV New Delhi, February 04, 2009

[accessed 24 May 2011]

Each one them said that policemen are here to harass them, and that they are not saviours rather villains who make their lives miserable.   Eight-year-old Kanchan, who begs near one of the temples in the locality and earns Rs 50-150 a day, was beaten up by the police four months ago.  

The stories of these street children find resonance with the brutal beating of a the girl in Etawah on Tuesday.   "One policeman gave me Rs 100 and told me to come with him. I refused as I knew that his intentions were bad," said Suman, a street kid.

Slumdog-type tales of hope in Delhi too

Ambika Pandit, Times News Network (The Times of India) TNN, New Delhi, Jan 27, 2009

[accessed 24 May 2011]

The triumph of human spirit that has made `Slumdog Millionaire' speak in a universal language to a global audience is not just a celluloid fantasy. Even as you read this and the film gathers critical and popular acclaim, many people are trying to claw their way up from grinding poverty to give themselves an identity.

There's Vicky Roy, 21 a one-time ragpicker who is now an accomplished photographer wowing international audiences. Next month, Vicky will be flying to New York for a six-month photo assignment, recording the reconstruction of the World Trade Center. He will also study at the Visual Arts Institute in that city.

Then, there's Sanjay Malhotra, 25, who has gone from being a street bully outside the Sai Baba Temple on Lodhi Road to an activist working for rehabilitating street children. In fact, he identifies with the character of Salim in the film.

Similary, 18-year-old Rani who sold knick-knacks at the Kalkaji Temple was saved from marriage with a 28-year-old man at the age of 14. Today, she leads a 5,000-strong group of street children. Just two days back, she got an award for her endeavour as part of Clean India campaign in Hyderabad.

Plastic banned, street kids hit bull’s eye with jute bags

Neha Sinha, The Indian Express News Service, New Delhi, Jan 27, 2009

[accessed 24 May 2011]

In 2004, a group of street children and ragpickers got together to make bags from scrap cloth and jute. Now, following a ban on plastic bags, the jute bags made by their organisation Lakhshya Badhte Kadam might just have hit the bull’s eye.   Ramesh, from the organisation, says the first orders have begun trickling in. “We have received requests to make cheap jute bags and newspaper bags for shopkeepers in Hauz Khas and Janpath,” he says. “We employ young adults, who may have run away from home, and economically deprived women.

The war against begging

Harsh Mander, The Hindu, Jan 25, 2009

[accessed 24 May 2011]

MERE IMPEDIMENTS? - The most recent skirmish in this sporadic warfare is a recent notification by the Delhi Traffic Police under the Motor Vehicles Act, which slaps fines of Rs. 1,000 on those who give alms to people begging at traffic lights. Beggars are therefore seen not as a spectacular human tragedy but an impediment to traffic. This view is endorsed by courts.

PREJUDICED PERCEPTIONS - The notion that begging is a crime derives not just from fears of begging mafias, but also from the conviction that begging is the first resort of the lazy poor. It assumes that most homeless people beg as a matter of choice. But as a recent study by PUCL-CSDS in Delhi found, only nine per cent homeless adults beg. Remarkably, we have found this ratio to apply even to street children, who prefer work — picking rags, serving tea in eateries or even vocations on the dark side of the law — to begging, …

Slumdog Millionaire: Meet the real Mumbai street urchins

Dean Nelson, The Telegraph, 18 Jan 2009

[accessed 24 May 2011]

Mohammed says he earns good money at Victoria Terminus station, where he works with a gang of 12 children, each blocking 18 seats on several trains – forcing commuters to pay to sit down – and some making up to £6 a day. "We can make good money if we work hard," he says.   But it's dangerous work. He has seen knife-fights between gangs, paedophiles preying on the younger, weaker boys, and gangsters offering drugs – heroin, cannabis and solvents – to lure children into begging.   According to Mohammed, violence is a way of life, and he and his gang are often the aggressors. Occasionally, when passengers refuse to pay his charge, he uses his fists to force them. "If they don't pay, we fight, we beat them up, but it only happens once a week. Passengers know they have to pay.

Fourteen-year-old Rahul left his family's smallholding three years ago after he beat up a boy at school. He has an angelic face, but it's grubby and his SpongeBob SquarePants T-shirt is even dirtier. He lives on platform 15, where he began by begging, then graduated to collecting plastic bottles, before joining Mohammed in the seat‑blocking scam.   "It was difficult at first because of other boys. They took drugs and beat me up and threatened me with knives," he says. He makes only 50 rupees a day (60p) because he is smaller than the others and cannot block as many seats. "I spend my money on dahl and some vegetables. There's no money for fun. We do have some freedom, we can go around and see movies." But he wants to go back to his village one day, where he wants to return to farming. He misses his family.

Street beggar to star striker, Raja is India's football hope

Gethin Chamberlain, The Observer, 4 January 2009

[accessed 24 May 2011]

Hoping their luck would change, the boy and his father headed for the town of Thrissur in Kerala, but quickly found themselves penniless and on the streets. With his father too ill to work, Raja turned to begging.

Some of the other street children spotted him begging at the station. They told the gullible six-year-old they could get him a job and one for his father. Instead they took him to meet the boss of the local begging mafia, a man also called Chinnaswamy, behind a row of shops. The man threatened him and warned him against trying to escape.

"He said I had to give him 100 rupees a day or he would kill my father," Raja said. If he tried to escape, he was told, the other children would inform on him. One day Raja failed to hit his target. His father was sick with a fever and the boy needed to care for him.

"In the evening I went begging and went to see Chinnaswamy to give him the 50 rupees I had made. He tied me to a stove and hit me with an iron rod," he said. Chinnaswamy had gathered the other children round to watch, to make sure that they learned the lesson. The rod was heated on the stove until it was red hot. Raja rolls down his sock to show the scars. There is another scar to the left of one eye from where he was burned with a cigarette.

The god of small children

Nazia Mallick, Ode Magazine, December 10, 2008

[accessed 24 May 2011]

India has the largest population of street children in the world. At least eighteen million children live or work on the streets of urban India, laboring as porters at bus or railway terminals; as mechanics in informal auto-repair shops; as vendors of food, tea, or handmade articles; as street tailors; or as rag pickers, picking through heaps of garbage and selling usable materials to local buyers.

HOW DO THEY END UP ON THE STREETS? - Basically it is the need for survival. These children come from very poor, violent and broken homes. There are many kids who have been literally abandoned by their parents/relatives or choose to leave home due to constant abuse such as physical, mental and sexual exploitation. Their tolerance level breaks at some point, leading to the drastic decision of running away.   Those who run away from home are either those who wanted to study and work but were not allowed to, or they ran away from remote villages to experience the perceived excitement of city life. Such children are abducted and pushed into begging. Some are forced into the street by their parents, when the parents are unable to feed and nourish them.

An UNICEF study found that almost 40,000 children die every day in developing countries, 25% of which are in India.   Studies indicate that the street children in India suffer from various chronic diseases and malnourishment. Being constantly exposed to dirt, smoke and other environmental hazards, their health condition is poor. Many suffer from serious diseases like TB, leprosy, typhoid, malaria, jaundice and liver/kidney disorders. There are cases of scabies, gangrene, broken limbs and epilepsy. Fatal diseases like HIV & AIDS is also spreading widely among them due to high incidence of sexual abuse and exploitation. A large number have genital lesions and suggestions of secondary syphilis. All these children have little or no family support.

Street children a ‘security threat’ at rly station

Manoj More, The Indian Express News Service, Dec 03, 2008

[accessed 24 May 2011]

Officials said from time to time they have taken up the issue with the Government Railway Police (GRP), but the situation hadn’t changed one bit. They keep coming on the station premises, roam all over the place, sleep anywhere they want, quarrel among themselves and even steal passenger luggage and parcels arriving from other cities. Their number is around 50. “We want these kids out. They are a nuisance and a security threat,” said Divisional Railway Manager D K Jain. The biggest danger, said Jain, was that these youth can be bought over easily.   “Many of them are addicted to drugs. Some of them beg. So you cannot deny the possibility that these children will be used by miscreants to create trouble,” Jain said.   The Railway is also hassled by thefts of parcels. “In the night, you will find them sleeping on the parcels. They steal items from these parcels by using razors or knives. We have to compensate commuters for the loss,” said Y K Singh of Central Railway. In 2007, 13 thefts of parcels were reported while this year the number has risen to 15.

A bank for street children

Piya Kochhar, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, 03-10-2008

[accessed 19 September 2011]

Street children running a bank for other street children. The idea might sound incongruous, but over 8,000 street children around the world are saving some of their meager earnings to build a better life.

TREASURE CHEST - In Delhi alone, 2000 street children have accounts in the 12 Khazana branches around the city. Most of these "branches" are located in make-shift posts at railway stations and crowded marketplaces... basically, anywhere where street children hang out.

Chasms between children

Harsh Mander, The Hindu, Oct 05, 2008

[accessed 24 May 2011]

A child was talking of how he lost his home and ended up on the streets. He was travelling with his parents in a crowded train when he was very young. He got off the compartment at a station, and the train left with his mother and father. He never found his parents again. For most of his childhood years, he grew up on railway platforms with other homeless children as his only family, earning his food through selling water bottles or picking rags, battling sexual abuse and police batons, seeking solace in drugs and the comradeship of his street friends.

Ragpickers who saved Delhi

Sidharth Pandey, NDTV New Delhi, September 15, 2008

[accessed 12 October 2012]

Without them Delhi's serial blasts could have been a lot worse. Two ragpickers who found two live bombs in dustbins at Children's Park at India Gate and near Regal Cinema in Connaught Place and alerted the police are getting Rs 50,000 each as a reward.  A 12-year-old baloon seller and two young rag-pickers are the capital's latest heroes while one of the boys is helping the police narrow down on the men who may have carried out one of the blasts, the other two prevented two bombs from exploding by alerting the police in time.

However, NGOs say that this is a bitter irony as the capital's 1 lakh street children are often at the receiving end of the law.  Connaught Place, the heart of Delhi, also home to thousands of street-children who are its eyes and ears but go unnoticed, unheard.  It's been a long walk for Javed and Sunil, both in their teens, from broken families one from Bareily the other from Madhya Pradesh.  A year ago, they ran away from their homes and came to Delhi looking for work. But all they managed to do is this risky business especially after live bombs were found in dustbins on Saturday.  "We are scared as we pick garbage and especially from dustbins it could be bomb and something may happen but what to do, it's about survival," said Mohammad Javed, ragpicker.  The two walk over five kilometers each day, looking for stuff that can be sold to scrap dealers, 40-50 rupees is all they earn, life on the streets is not easy.

The former street kid who got his life back in focus

[Last access date unavailable]

Because of problems at school, he fled his West Bengal home at the age of 11 and sought shelter on the streets of New Delhi.  “I had many educational problems. I was really bad at studying and I had been bunking school for a month. When the school sent a letter to my parents, I knew I had to take a chance and run away, because I was so afraid of my father and I knew he would beat me.”  He left home with 20 rupees in his pocket and ended up living with hundreds of other street children at the New Delhi railway station.  He collected empty plastic bottles and sold them to buy food.  “Life was hard. During the evenings, I would try to sleep in a train, but sometimes police would come and beat us up for being on the train.”

Every sunrise has a sunset: Lives on the streets

Anshul Tewari, merinews, Aug 11, 2008

[accessed 24 May 2011]

CHILDREN CUT SHORT: TREATMENT OF STREET CHILDREN - Street children in India are a soft target as they are young, poor and ignorant about their rights. The condition of these homeless children often leads to them resorting to petty theft, robberies, drug trafficking, prostitution, murders and other criminal activities.  A level of fear and intimidation is created in their minds because of the behaviour of the police.  Police often take money from these children and in case the children fail to pay they are beaten up like criminals and given third degree treatment. In some cases it has also led to mental disbalance and even deaths.

MAJOR PROBLEM THEY FACE: AIDS - One of the major problems the children face is AIDS.  The street children at the railway stations are worst affected and 35 per cent of them have Tuberculosis, the first symptom of AIDS. More than five million children on Indian streets are HIV positive.  Of these, girls are the worst affected. They are raped, taken away by touts and sold in brothels. Not a single girl at the New Delhi railway station has been spared.  In 1997, the Inter Press News Service wrote an article stating that the street children in India are most vulnerable to AIDS. The article brought to the fore the irony of one such girl among millions. Uma (name changed) a nine-year old girl was raped by a gang of homeless boys at the New Delhi railway station, where she also lived. The same happened over and over again. This led to the poor child delivering a still born baby

Living off the city's mean streets

Deepa Suryanarayan, Daily News & Analysis DNA, Mumbai, Jul 25, 2008

[accessed 24 May 2011]

According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, India has the largest population of street children in the world -- around 18 million, of whom nearly 2,50,000 live on the streets of Mumbai. Most of these children get by working as porters at bus or railway terminals, as mechanics in auto-repair shops, as vendors, as street tailors or as ragpickers.

The fate of a girl is very different from that of a boy on the street. "The average girl arriving in the city will last about 15 minutes before being approached by a person posing as a friendly stranger offering help," says Valerie Tripp of an NGO Saathi. "More often than not, these friendly strangers are agents who whisk away the unsuspecting girl to a brothel."

As for the boys, the railway platform is their permanent home. "They start with begging and selling knick-knacks, and when they get no money, they turn to crime," says Kasbe. "In many cases these children are picked by criminals to run errands."

Kasbe says these street children have a network of their own. "Most children who have been in the city for 15 days know where they can find free food," he says. The children form groups and head towards temples or shelters where food is distributed free, he says. They also know that they can find work in places like small hotels and shops.

The children of a street god

Surekha S & Humaira Ansari, Daily News & Analysis DNA, Mumbai, Jul 24, 2008

[accessed 24 May 2011]

Even before the train comes to a halt, what one sees is a mad scramble of young lads, as they leap into the compartments, dodging passengers to collect leftover food. It's with a sense of achievement that they emerge victoriously with packets of half eaten kurkure, dahi cups, mineral water, omelettes, Appy Fizz etc.  These kids who many Mumbaikars shun, or simply take for granted as being part of the urbanscape, earn about Rs50 to 60 a day. Some sell newspapers, some pick up plastic litter to sell to the local bangarwalla, others make their money carrying luggage and doing odd jobs.  Newspaper-vending, the most predominant occupation, also helps the ones who can read, know about the happenings in the city. It also gives the kids information about the latest film releases. So it's no surprise to hear the titles Hancock and Jane Tu being mentioned. The kids catch up on the films at their favourite cinemas, namely Maratha Mandir and Gaiety.  Coming from diverse parts of the country - Bihar, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and the interior of Maharashtra - these kids live life on their own terms; enjoying their life away from home as much as they can.

Flintoff, an 18-year-old boy from Madgaon came to Mumbai at the age of nine to become a film hero. But now, he says philosophically, "Everyone comes here to become a hero but ends up being a villain." He ran away from home to escape a drunkard for a father, and has since been living on the streets of Mumbai. He has no wish to return home. According to him: "We get food, a place to sleep, some money, and most important of all unrestricted freedom. What more do we want?"  But his words contradict his wish that 11-year-old Irfan, who joined his group recently, be taken away in order to lead a better life. Unaware of the harsh realities of street life, Irfan ran away from his home in Umarkhand to educate himself in Mumbai.

Though the kids paint a rosy picture of life, they are also aware of its grim realities. Apart from sustaining themselves, what they fear most is the beatings met out by the police. Entering the trains to procure meals, sleeping on platforms by night invite police lathis.  But it is drug-addiction that is the biggest cause for concern, when it comes to street children, according to the city's NGOs.

Giving children a voice: street wise

[Last access date unavailable]

Shekhar was 12 when he ran away from his home in Bihar, India's poorest state. Like many of India's runaways, he left the crippling poverty of rural India and the family he felt he was a burden to. He jumped on a train and eluded ticket collectors all the way to Delhi.

On arrival in Delhi, Shekhar met another street kid who pointed him to the temple for a free meal. Shekhar joined the estimated one million children who make their homes on the streets of Delhi, ekeing out a living - rag picking, shoe shining and in some cases, pickpocketing and drug peddling. Not all of the children are runaways: some are abandoned, or neglected; others work on the streets returning home to sleep. For these children the street is a work place, and they are an integral part of the city's economy. Some, like Shekhar, work sweeping the train cars and collecting any left over food. Rag pickers and bottle collectors play a useful role in a city with no real recycling programme or general rubbish collection.

Delhi's streets are an urban jungle where each day is spent battling against hunger, abuse, illness and fear. The popular perception of the street children is of lawless, crime-prone outcasts. Police and local officials use violence and intimidation widely against them. The government response is to round the children up and dump them in jail-like remand homes.

Journey to the streets

Harsh Mander, The Hindu, Jul 13, 2008

[accessed 24 May 2011]

HARSH NECESSITIES - Abuse often drives boys from their homes, who flee their families to escape intolerable abuse. These are acts of incredible courage for children so young, echoed and repeated in the lives of tens of thousands of street children who decide at very young ages to bravely escape violence and abuse in their homes — alcoholic fathers, physical and sexual violence — by fending for themselves, at whatever cost. But we also have children who were lost or abandoned by their families at such a young age that they do not recall their origins. The streets are the only home that they remember.

NO OTHER HOME - Some are also simply born to the streets. In Chennai, in particular, we encountered several families which had lived for several generations on the same piece of pavement. Their great grandparents came to the city, sometimes 80 years earlier or longer, and the patriarchs colonised gradually “their” part of the pavement. New generations were born, one following the next, and they all grew up in the same stretch of pavement. This was the only home that the large extended family now knew. Mohan, a street boy in Chennai, said, “Homelessness is not a new thing for me. I was born into streets, and it was here that I was brought up.” He is convinced that they will be forced to return to the streets. Likewise, Mythili is another of “homeless lineage”. When she was a child, her father was irresponsible, “a drunkard, he never cared for us”, she recounts, and her mother fed them by selling food cooked by her on the pavements to other homeless people.

The future of capitalism

Arun Maira, The Economic Times ET Bureau, Jul 10, 2008

[accessed 24 May 2011]

I attended a workshop with 60 school children in Delhi recently. All were between 14 and 17 years old. Half were from Delhi’s elite schools, and the other half were homeless children who lived on the streets near the railway station and were being helped along by an NGO. These 60 kids had been working together for a couple of weeks already. Their facilitator asked each of them to name a child in the room they were learning to respect. Almost all the street children named richer children. They said they admired the better off children for their sophistication and for their kindness. All the rich children named street kids. They said they admired these kids for their courage, intelligence, and initiative. This begs the question: who is the ‘fittest’?

Street children struggle to survive in Mumbai

Shilpa Hassani, merinews, Jun 03, 2008

[accessed 24 May 2011]

Most Indian street children work. Children who work, are not only subject to the strains and hazards of their labour, but are also denied the education or training that could enable them to escape the poverty trap.  Poor health is a chronic problem for them. Half of all children in India are malnourished, but for street children, the proportion is much higher. These children are not only underweight, but their growth has often been stunted.  Everyday, I come across such homeless kids begging, some near a ticket-counter, some near a food store, some at traffic signals, selling flowers or books.  Mumbai, a city that gives place to each and everyone, doesnt have place for them.

In pictures: Indian railways' runaway children

BBC News

[accessed 24 May 2011]

Bangalore's railway station is a gateway for thousands of India's hopefuls, coming to chase their dreams in the country's booming IT and call-centre hub.  But some of the daily arrivals never make it past the platforms.  Many of the city's 20,000 street children make the vast railway station their home.  Here, they wander untidy and unkempt and survive by begging, stealing and doing menial jobs such as sweeping trains and platforms.

CBI goes after foster parents in child racket

K Praveen Kumar, Times News Network (The Times of India) TNN, Chennai, May 14, 2008

[accessed 10 February 2011]

The case had originated on the basis of complaints from parents about missing children. One of them, the child of Kathiravel and Nagamani, pavement-dwellers in Pulianthope, had been allegedly kidnapped and sold to a Dutch couple.  Similarly, the four-year-old child of Sylvia, a woman from Otteri, was kidnapped from an auto and sold to a couple in Australia. Another couple from the city had lost their one-and-a-half-year old child, who was traced to the US.

The racket was busted in the city in the first week of May 2005 after the Otteri police received specific information about kidnapping of children in and around Otteri.  The police team then started investigations and arrested seven people identified as Varadharajan, Sheikh Dawood, Navjeen, Sabeera, Manoharan, Salima and K.T. Dawood. They subsequently traced the racket to an illegal adoption agency, Malaysian Social Service, which had kidnapped street children and sold them to foreigners after forging certificates. The case was subsequently transferred to the Crime Branch. - htsc

Promoter held for raping street children

The Statesman, Kolkata, 13 May 2008

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 24 May 2011]

An NGO informed the city police few months ago that they received complaints of street children being sexually abused by few taxi drivers at night. The NGO has already rescued some of the abused girls who are now staying in a shelter home. A senior city police officer said that initiatives have been taken to protect street children from being abused.

In a first, BMC gets talking about street children’s health

Express News Service, Mumbai, May 10, 2008

[accessed 24 May 2011]

Recently, we took a friend to the Bhagwati Hospital because he was getting lumps in his leg and were shooed out. Even the community worker there does not help us because we are street children and have no elders to accompany us,” said 17-year-old Manish Jain, who came to Mumbai a decade ago.

Mumbai has an estimated 1.5 lakh street children, who take refuge at railway stations, pavements and shelter homes, with little or no access to healthcare.

Aras noted that as most street children do not have bathing and toilet facilities, many suffer from chronic diseases like asthma and dysentery.  Dr Pallavi Shelke from Sion Hospital who attended Friday’s session also noted that respiratory tract infection was most common, along with complaints of diarrhoea, sticky stools, abdominal pain and worm infestation, scabies, boils, malnutrition.

A glimpse at life on the streets in India

Judy Stoffman, The Toronto Star, Delhi, Apr 26 2008

[accessed 24 May 2011]

It's a place he knows first-hand. Shekhar was born in Bihar, the poorest of India's 28 states, and ran away at age 12, jumping on a train and eluding ticket takers all the way to Delhi.  "Basically, most of the children run away from the country because of poverty; they know they are a burden to their families," he says.

He quickly found that the children look out for one another.  "When I got here, I met another rag picker and he said `Are you hungry?' and he took me to the Sisganj Gurdwara (Sikh temple) for a free meal," Shekhar recalls.

These children, it turns out, are not an anomaly, but integrated into the city's economy.  They are not beggars – they work sweeping the train cars and collecting any leftover food. First-class trains are particularly good.  "My friend got into a car with a wedding party and got two pieces of chicken," he says.  From a bridge between the platforms, he points out some boys jumping between the tracks, collecting empty plastic water bottles, which fetch half a rupee each.

They make, he says, 60 to 70 rupees a day or about $2.  In a nook below the overpass, a child is sleeping under a piece of cardboard.  We walk past a juice seller who lets children sleep on top of his booth, and acts as a banker, keeping their scant rupees safe from theft.  Another shop on the platform is Chemist Corner, where sick children go to buy herbal medicines.  "Street children are crazy about Bollywood movies," says Shekhar. "Some will hop the train to Mumbai to see a premiere. They play hide and seek with the railway police; if they are caught they get badly beaten."

Geetanjali Krishna: Children of a lesser god

Geetanjali Krishna, Business Standard,  New Delhi, April 19, 2008

[accessed 9 Aug  2013]

“It takes most children less than a month on the streets to take to glue,” said Amit, who started Jamghat. He and his friends estimate that almost every single child on the streets of Delhi has been sexually, physically or mentally abused. The children face other problems as well — the money they make begging, pushing carts or as coolies, is more often than not, snatched by older residents of the park, even by the police themselves. “It is sad,” said Amit, “but the fact is that today, few are willing to take on the responsibility of these troubled children.”

Streetsmart bankers

Meenakshi Sinha, Times News Network (The Times of India) TNN, Mar 2, 2008

[accessed 24 May 2011]

This red-and- yellow enclosure is the Children's Development Bank (CDB) — run by street children, exclusively for street children.  As soon as the bank opens at 6:30 pm (unlike regular banks, CDB operates only in the evening because street children work during the day), its young customers line up to make withdrawals or deposit their day's earnings.  Thirteen-year-old Durgesh waits patiently as the cashier — who is as old as Durgesh — makes an entry in his passbook and hands him a note of Rs 50.  Apart from his daily expenses and an occasional movie outing, Durgesh is saving up hard to go home. "The bank is a safe place to deposit my money," he says.  There are many like him — runaways from desperately poor rural homes who join the big city's floating population of ragpickers and street vendors. "Most of them are boys; there aren't many girls on the streets," says Suman Sachdeva, development manager of Butterflies, the NGO behind the initiative.  The bank opens for an hour everyday — a busy time for its manager-cum-cashier, a nominated child volunteer who runs the affairs. The job is rotated every six months, giving youngsters (usually in the 12-14 age group) a chance to learn accounting and be responsible with money.

Child-beggars: Battering experiences, bitter future

Sharmila Govande, merinews, Feb 26, 2008

[accessed 24 May 2011]

The life of a child beggar is very daunting and frightful. Akbar (name changed) shivers every time he recollects the days when he was forced to beg. He was beaten, assaulted, tortured whenever he was not able to bring in his daily quota of earnings. He took to pick pocketing and other petty crimes in order to protect himself from the wrath of his dealer. He took to smelling glue to overcome his hunger. He did not have a bath for months and used any open space to defecate.  Fortunately, he was rescued by an NGO working for street children. “I was lucky, since I was an orphan. Didi did not have to seek any ones permission for taking me to their shelter. Many others continued suffering as it was their own parents who forced them into begging.”

PMC to build a nest for street kids

Times News Network (The Times of India) TNN, Feb 6, 2008

[accessed 24 May 2011]

In a unique initiative, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has undertaken a project to provide shelter to all street children in the city. The 'Gharte' (Nest) project will ensure that no child on the street is left without care.  If the PMC successfully implements the scheme, it will be the first civic body in the country to provide 100 per cent rehabilitation of street children.  "We will ensure that the childhood of no kid is destroyed on the streets. It is our social responsibility to look after these children. It is possible to take care of street kids whose lives are getting wasted," municipal commissioner Pravinsinh Pardeshi said while speaking to TOI.  The beneficiaries of the project will be children of single parent or no parent, children of sex workers, runaway children and children of parents who do not care for them.

New scheme gives street kids home, school

Preeti Jha, The Indian Express News Service, New Delhi, Jan 14, 2008

[accessed 24 May 2011]

By opening a school that runs classes during the day and provides meals and secure lodgings at night, the DoE hopes it will attract and educate both students who have never enrolled in a school and those who would otherwise drop out to earn a livelihood. “We’re not opening a children’s home,” stressed Education Secretary Rina Ray, “but we are trying to address a few of the underlying problems that prevent street children or child labourers, for instance, from going to school.”

In a simultaneous move, destitute women will also be recruited to live alongside groups of five or six students--a concept inspired by NGO SOS-India, which runs children’s villages across the country for orphaned and abandoned children, uniquely teaming up a childcare professional, known as a mother, with a child. “The mothers will be able to guide and aid their group of children’s educational and general development,” said Ray.

Christmas sales bring cheer to street children

Indo-Asian News Service IANS, 25 December 2007

[accessed 9 Aug  2013]

Sanjida, heavily pregnant and a young mother of two, similarly is really happy with the sales. “I have sold 50 such caps in two days,” she smiled, sitting on the pavement with her children in south Delhi’s R K Puram area  “I get these caps from Sadar Bazar, which is a wholesale market, near Connaught Place. I sell them at Rs25,” she said, folding the last cap into a plastic packet  “Otherwise, I sell red roses, which I buy from the early morning flower market in Connaught Place itself. Although I am selling flowers too, the rapid sale of caps has lightened the load of earning my daily bread,” she said  Although these items - the red Santa Clause caps or the Santa Clause mask - are easily available in the market, people prefer buying from the street children.

Budget for children neglects health, protection

Hemlata Verma, The Indian Express News Service, Shimla, Dec 25, 2007

[accessed 24 May 2011]

A look at the state budget for children in the past four years reveals that the government’s investment in the education sector has been at the cost of children’s requirement of health and protection facilities. As a result, the state has seen a sharp rise in the number of street children and very little improvement in the condition of 58 per cent anaemic children (between 6-35 months age). Besides, health and protection, requirements of adolescents have also remained totally neglected.  This was revealed in a report, “Analysis of State’s Priorities Towards Children”, released by Himachal Pradesh Voluntary Health Association (HPVHA) in collaboration with Centre for Child Rights. The report was recently released by Governor V.S. Kokje.

Childhood marred with sex and drugs

Kishalay Bhattacharjee, NDTV, Dimpaur, December 22, 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

Street children in the north-east are trapped in a vicious circle of substance and sexual abuse. This street culture drives them to a life of theft.  AB's (name protected) home are the streets of Dimapur, where he's spent all his 17 years. Except the time he went to jail but that's not his concern right now.  He is back and trying to fit back to the only life he has had, drugs, theft and unsafe sex.  "I live on the footpath, pick up scrap, take dendrite and drugs. We were told about HIV, through the injections that we take we know that HIV can be transmitted. Then I went to jail for drugs and theft, we were also told about condom use. Mom left and dad married someone else so he left. I am here in Dimpaur."

India starts putting its street children in schools

Jonathan Allen, Reuters, New Delhi, Mon Dec 17, 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

Eleven-year-old Anurag never went to school because he had to scavenge through Delhi's bins, dumps and gutters in search of sellable trash each day before spending his nights sleeping on the street.

"I never had a home, so it's not like I've left home," he said, holding hands with his new best friend, 10-year-old Rahul.  "I ran away from home because they wouldn't send me to school," adds Rahul, explaining that his parents sent him to work at a motorcycle repair shop on Delhi's outskirts.  Anurag and Rahul are among 30 homeless children involved in a pilot project in Delhi, giving them housing and "bridging" classes to help them catch up on lost years of schooling.

Delhi’s poorest left behind in drive to make city ready for 2010 games

The Herald (Scotland), 15 Dec 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

The father of six is not alone. In the months leading up to the games, more than 5000 families have been forced from their homes as the city authorities demolished hundreds of slums and encampments around New Delhi, a crowded, traffic-choked city of 14 million people.  New Delhi already has 150,000 homeless residents - the vast majority of them women and children - a staggering figure that critics say is largely ignored by city leaders.

But Delhi's handling of its homeless population has brought into sharp focus a larger problem facing India, an emerging superpower where the needs of the country's 70 million homeless, mostly women and children, are often brushed aside as the gap widens between the haves and the have-nots.

In her own words: Katy French in Calcutta

Katy French, October 07 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

These children have no homes, no water, no food, no health service, and no education. They are alone. Often children as young as four are thrown on to the streets by their own mother and father, simply because they cannot provide for them. They are seen more as a burden than a blessing. Many are maimed; others are handicapped, yet they are nonetheless discarded because they cannot contribute.  All are just little children left wondering what to do and where to go. They are at the mercy of those who would use and abuse them, rather than help them.

Kids earn brownies for companies

Business Standard BS, New Delhi, November 20, 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

Can islands of welfare initiatives change the larger picture for children in India?  Companies are running projects for children, but the scattered nature of these makes them drops in an ocean of need.

Says Pooran Pandey, who heads Times Foundation: "These scattered efforts, unless put together, cannot have an impact. For, there is no guarantee that good models are replicated with every company trying to re-invent the wheel."

HIV Prevention among street children in India : Lessons learned

Mohammed MU; International Conference on AIDS -- Int Conf AIDS. 2002 Jul 7-12; 14: abstract no. WeOrD1273, S.V.University, Dept. of Population Studies, Tirupati - Andhra Pradesh, India

[accessed 25 May 2011]

India has the largest number of street children in the age group of 8-18 years. They are exposed to all kinds of risky social environment. They are prone to drinking alcohol, smoking, begging, pick-pocketing and many other similar vices. A vast majority of the street children indulge in sex at a very young age (after crossing 14 years of age). The Government of India felt that there was a potent danger of the spreading of HIV/AIDS among the street children and from them to the general public. - sccp

Children’s Day under the shadow of the rape of childhood

Rishabh, merinews, Nov 13, 2007

[accessed 12 October 2012]

The definition of a ‘child’ in the Indian legal and policy framework is someone below 18 years. Our laws are neither child friendly nor child oriented. Here are few figures:  - sccp

q  Less than half of India’s children between the age of six and 14 go to school.

q  Only 38 per cent of children below two years are immunised.

q  Over 50 per cent children are malnourished.

q  One out of every six girls does not live to see her 15th birthday.

q  Of 12 million girls born, one million do not see their first birthday.

q  Females are victimised far more than males in their childhood.

q  53 per cent of girls in the age group of five to nine years are illiterate.

q  There are two million child commercial sex workers between the age of five and 15 years.

q  17 million children in India work out of compulsion, not out of choice.

Giving India's Kids Hope and a Future

Gary Lane, Christian Broadcasting Network CBN News, BANGALORE, November 7, 2007

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 25 May 2011]

CHILDREN OF THE STREETS - They're seen just about everywhere in India's largest cities: poor and homeless children living and hanging out on the streets.  Some hustle enough rupees here and there to pay for an occasional plate of rice.  An expanding economy is creating new wealth and opportunities in India.  But in cities like Bangalore, thousands of young children and teens have yet to benefit from the economic boom, according to Sajan George, the head of The Global Council of Indian Christians.  "We have about 800,000 orphans, street children, children under bonded labor. This is a large number of people in Bangalore City itself and they're being robbed of their youth and childhood," George said.

Lost, runaway street children find their way back home via cyberspace

Mihika Basu, The Indian Express News Service, Mumbai, November 02, 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

Rinku is one among several children who run away from home everyday in search of a better life in Mumbai but ultimately end up on its streets. Thanks to the consistent efforts of the shelter, several like him are able to relocate their families though a homelink website ( launched in July this year.

Opportunists Allegedly Sponsoring Street Beggars in Uganda

Voice of America VOA News, Kampala Uganda, October 23, 2007

[accessed 12 October 2012]

“The way these children were picking [taking] the money was rather professional.  All of them were using a [one] particular arm (the right arm) they wave it in front of your face, and when they pick [take] the money you see them running to an adult who is sited [waiting] on the side of the road – which brought out the picture that this was an organized arrangement assisted by politicians.”

Lokwir John, a 12-year-old Karimajog beggar denied this. He told me that he was not attending school and came to Kampala to seek money for food. He said his uncle put him on a bus with other Karamoja families going to Kampala for a better life. He said every week, he sends his money home to his mother in the village.

‘Street Dreams’ come true in life and on film for two shutterbugs

Upneet Pansare, The Indian Express News Service, Mumbai, Oct 23, 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

At 11, both Haran and Vicky Roy ran away from their homes in West Bengal, hoping to escape a life of poverty and deprivation. But they landed on the streets of Delhi, alone and vulnerable.  Eleven years later, both returned but as budding photographers, chronicling the life on the streets on film.

Dont erazeus out...

Nina C George, Deccan Herald, October 18, 2007

This article has been archived by World Street Children News and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 25 May 2011]

Following their path Suhas discovered that these children consume Erazex during late evening and at night. Open drains, parks, and empty spaces serve as ideal places where they sit in a large group and sniff off a cloth which they pass from one person to another. “There’s a dog accompanying every gang. These are good watch dogs and protect these children from police, underworld gangsters or by older street boys who bully them and use them to achieve their own ends,” explains Suhas.

No Child’s Play This

Screen India, 2007-10-19

[accessed 25 May 2011]

But more than creating awareness about these issues, our aim is to stress the need for education of these children. By employing them as domestics or giving them other jobs, we think we get them out of a financial crisis, but in the bargain we are depriving them of their basic right of…..Education.

Street children campaign for their rights in Kolkata

The Indian Express News Service, Kolkata, Oct 13, 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

They have no place to stay and have made the streets their home. Armed with placards requesting the authorities concerned not to evict them, more than 80 street children below the age of 15 years marched down the crowded streets of north Kolkata on Friday with their parents by their side.

For Gita Paswan, a Class I student, the march was to stop the police from destroying their shanties and separating them from their parents. Dinesh (13), a school dropout was there to make people aware of the plight of others like him. “Police come and evict us from our homes. The worst sufferers are those who go to schools as there is little time to study if one stays on the streets,” he said.

7.6 million children are still out of the school, says official

The Hindu, Karnataka - Bangalore, Oct 05, 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

There are 7.6 million children who are out of school in India to this day. This is a drop from the 32 million out of schoolchildren in the country when Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) project started in 2001.

Admitting that retention of children in schools was a worrying issue, he said the next area of priority would be “hard to reach” children such as street children and those in slums. The drop out rate was particularly high among children from minority communities and those from Scheduled Tribes, he said.

Delhi street kid becomes professional photographer

Seemi PashaSeemi Pasha , Indian News Channel CNN-IBN News, New Delhi, Sep 28, 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

Vicky Roy's big city dream started as a rag picker. After picking up empty bottles and selling them for Rs 5 each, he graduated to working in a dhaba near the New Delhi Railway Station.  “I ran away from home in 1999. The first day I was here, I slept at the railway station,” says Vicky.  But today Vicky is a photographer with exhibitions at the India Habitat Centre in Delhi as well as in London.

“Street boys are usually very tough but Vicky was a very soft boy. He showed interest in photography so we put him in touch with a professional,” says Founder, Salaam Balak Trust, Praveen Nair.  With several exhibitions lined up for his work in India and abroad, Vicky has surely proved that if given an opportunity even a street kid change his destiny.

Auto rickshaw driver turns savoir of street children

Asian News International ANI, Kochi Kerala, September 15, 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

Hundereds of street children in Kochi may not know who their parents are, but consider Murugan, the auto rickshaw-driver-turned social activist a dear friend.  Murugan heads a help group called 'Theruvora Pravarthaka Association' which in Malayalam language means 'Street Workers' Association'  Murugan, who grew up in an orphanage -- as his mother could not afford to bring him up -- knows the pangs of destitution.  During the past six years, he claims to have saved about 2000 street children from the drudgery of forced labour.

Four SSC passouts were drug addicts 10 yrs ago

[Last access date unavailable]

Four street children who were addicted to drugs 10 years ago appeared for the SSC exams this year and passed with flying colours.

Kashyap, who secured 76 per cent, said he wanted to become an artist and study at the J J School of Art. He said that due to poverty and ill-treatment by parents, he ran away from his home in a Jharkhand village and reached CST station where he spent a year.  “Initially, I begged. Later, I befriended some people, who taught me to work as a coolie. When I did not have sufficient food, a friend suggested that drugs could suppress hunger,” he said.  He became a habitual drug user till he was offered help by the NGO.

Support officials said that such children are first sent for detoxification and then to the rehabilitation department, a process that takes about six months. Once this is through, they are able to go to school.

Punjab Governor lays foundation stone of center for street children

Satinder Bains, Punjab Newsline, CHANDIGARH, 07 September 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

With a view to empowering the street children and to ensure their rehabilitation as productive members of society, the Punjab Governor and Administration Union Territory, Chandigarh, Gen. (Retd.) S.F. Rodrigues, Friday laid the foundation stone of a vocational training center for 900 street children near village Maloya, which will be fully equipped with facilities of Education, Vocational Training, Residential facilities, playground and other necessary support structures.

Bombay's innocent victims of destitution

Agnes Chan, The Japan Times, Bombay, Sept. 6, 2007

[accessed 9 Aug  2013]

Eighty million people are considered middle and upper class in India, but within the 1.1 billion population, one person out of three lives on less than one dollar per day. At night, as the lights go out in downtown Bombay, thousands of people begin to lie down in stations and on pavements to sleep. On rainy nights, wherever shelter can be found, it is packed tight with huddled bodies. In the morning, these people awake then quickly disappear into the crowds of the streets. Some never wake up.

No one knows exactly how many street people there are, but the number of street children has been estimated by local child-rights NGO AMRAE at 200,000. The scale of homelessness is simply mind-boggling. Many children are born into unfortunate situations where the huge divide between the haves and have-nots depends not only on materialistic issues but on class and culture: It is about where people were born, what name they bear, their gender and what religion they follow. All these factors influence the opportunities a child will receive in life. Everyone is supposedly born equal, but generations of Indian children have endured the same unfortunate destination.

From polishing shoes to driving rickshaw, he works his way towards a better future

Vikram Rautela, The Indian Express News Service, Ahmedabad, August 29, 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

As a 10-year-old boy, he used to move around on city roads with a shoe polish box slung around on his shoulders. Then known as ‘Paka’ polishwala, Jitesh Parmar used to polish people’s shoes near Dilli Darwaja.  Now, after more than a decade, Parmar aspires to become a civil servant. The 21-year-old youth is doing MCom from a college in the city.  Parmar’s life did not change overnight _ and nor did he find any magic wand. It was a worker from city-based voluntary organisation, Rachanatmak Abhigam Trust, who got a school dropout Parmar admitted to a school again.  The NGO also arranged for a free of cost vocational training for Parmar at its training and rehabilitation centre for street children, so that he could earn while studying and not become a liability on his poor parents.

Piggy bankers

Neha Sinha, The Indian Express News Service, New Delhi, August 19, 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

In a corner of a grubby MCD night shelter, children queue up with their ‘passports’ and their pennies at the counter of the Children’s Development Bank. At the end of a hard day’s work, this is where they ‘invest’ their money — in “chalu accounts”.

The award-winning Children’s Development Bank, set up with help from the NGO Butterflies, is run by children and has street children for its customers.

Red FM extends social activities with 'Dil Se' Team, Mumbai, 13 August 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

Red FM Delhi in association with the NGO Centre for Equity Studies has launched a social campaign 'Dil Se' to provide all-round care for street children in the city. The campaign is supported by the Department of Education, Government of Delhi under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).  As part of the campaign, Red FM and the NGO will refurbish government schools and other buildings to accommodate street children with arrangement for boarding and lodging.

In Plain Sight but Invisible

Shelley Seale, Worldpress, July 19, 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

When brought face to face with such children — an all-too-common occurrence virtually everywhere in India — it becomes almost impossible to ignore them; to say no. A struggle invariably begins inside my soul and no matter how many times the situation occurs, that struggle never lessens and is never resolved. The truth of the matter is that giving money to these children will not have any significant impact on their lives beyond a few moments. It might even worsen their circumstances; many of these children turn the money directly over to parents or other adults who are either exploiting them or simply trying to stay a step above starvation.

Meet the heroes

[Last access date unavailable]

It works at various levels, which are an Outreach program which reaches out to street children and encourages them to leave their street life, a Drop-in Centre, which provides basic facilities for children who decide to continue to live on the street, a 24 hour Open House for street children with any problem, a Residential Home for the children, a Drug De-addiction and Therapeutic Community, a Research and Development centre, which publishes the learning's of the organisation, a Rural Development Program and an Urban Slum Development program which aims at empowering people at the grass root level and improving their quality of life and preventing the children from leaving their homes for the street.

Government Programme To Benefit Street Children (LEAD)

News Post India, 4 July 2007

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 25 May 2011]

The Integrated Programme for Street Children includes the setting up of 24-hour drop-in shelters with facilities for night stay, safe drinking water, bathrooms, latrines, first-aid and recreation, an official release said here.  The programme also includes non-formal education and training facilities for meaningful vocations, trades and skills to enhance their earning capacity.

At this meet, small voices address big issues

Pulkit Vasudha, The Indian Express News Service, Ahmedabad, July 03, 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

The Gujarat chapter of Childline recently arranged a state level children’s meet where 40 under-privileged children interacted with government authorities and brainstormed on issues like child labour, education, health and child rights. About 15 children from Baroda and 25 children from Ahmedabad, all in the 12-18 age group, spoke to various representatives of the State Government during the meet.

Sheetal Waghela, 13, expressed her concern about the insensitivity with which the police dealt with street children. “Though not all policemen are bad to us, street children are terrified at the sight of policemen,” she said.

NGO to move HC seeking ban on use of ‘white ink’

Sobhana K, The Indian Express News Service, New Delhi, June 26, 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

An NGO is planning to file a public interest litigation in the High Court seeking a ban on correction fluids—used in offices—and adhesives used for repairing tyres.  The NGO decided to file the petition after a study conducted by it showed that more than 70 per cent of street children are addicted to drugs and over 50 per cent of them inhale such “cheap drugs”.  The study by Chetna (Childhood Enhancement through Training and Action) also states that “white fluid” worth over Rs 60 lakh is bought by these street children in Delhi every day.  “The liquid is not used any longer in offices. A ban on the liquid will save the lives of many street children,” said Sanjay Gupta, director, CHETNA.

A New LIfe Getting Children off the Streets

Gita Pullapilly, Frontline/World, June 21, 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

Although life on the streets is harsh and dangerous, it has a certain allure. According to Koshy and his team, it takes roughly a month for a child to become addicted to hustling. Earning money from rag-picking and collecting recyclables, the children quickly bond with each other and become accustomed to the relative freedom of street life. Once they have enough rupees, they buy food, the occasional luxury of a ticket to see a movie in an air-conditioned theater, and cheap drugs. "The street addiction is very strong," says Dasaka, who's affectionately known as Anu Auntie.

Kolkata registers its young street dwellers

Asian News International ANI, June 19, 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

Civic authorities in Kolkata have registered thousands of its street children enabling them access to the state's social security system.  Civic authorities handed out birth certificates to about 50,000 street children in the city, a pre-requisite for access to any government welfare scheme.

The children said that the certificate would entitle them to things they were deprived of.  "I have come here for my certificate. I need a birth certificate to make my voter identity card, to register myself in the State's social security schemes and school admission," said Muhammad Aslam, a street boy, receiving a birth certificate.

Summer shelters for Delhi's street children soon

Press Trust of India PTI, New Delhi, June 18, 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

Sleeping children on footpaths or on road dividers in Delhi may soon be a thing of past as the Social Welfare department plans to come out with some round-the-clock facilities.

Aiding the addicted

June 04, 2007

This article has been archived by World Street Children News and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 25 May 2011]

Support NGO works for the betterment of street children who have fallen prey to narcotics.  After spending twenty years with Support- NGO, Managing Director, Sujata Ganega has written a book on the rehabilitation of  street children.

“The book — ‘FLUTE’ is totally based on my experience through life,” said Sujata. Talking about the main cause, Sujata said, “The drug addiction habit is spreading because the bad company.
If one of the street children is habitual in a group of street children then the rest of the group follows him.”

Man arrested for molesting street children in Andhra city

Reuters, Hyderabad, May 28, 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

Police in southern India arrested a gay man for sodomising 30 young boys and killing one - most of whom were poor street children, an officer said yesterday.  Over a period of two years, construction worker Gundu Shiva used to entice the boys with chocolates and video games in the coastal city of Vijayawada - 265 kilometres southeast of Hyderabad, capital of Andhra Pradesh state.  He would then sodomise them and force them to indulge in other sexual acts like oral sex, said police, adding the children were often too scared to tell anyone.

Delhi's street children vulnerable to exploitation

Madhur Tankha, The Hindu, New Delhi, May 18, 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

By all accounts the Capital's street children are vulnerable to all forms of exploitation and abuse. And their daily lives are likely to be far removed from the childhood envisaged in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.  As a result, these children suffer from sexually transmitted diseases, drug abuse and crime resulting in a deep sense of insecurity and emotional conflict.

Life's lessons learnt on the sidewalk

Nikhil Hemrajani, Times News Network (The Times of India) TNN, Mumbai, May 13, 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

At the helm of Hamara Footpath is its founder, 24-year-old Shubhangi Swarup. "It is an open community effort where people from all walks of life are encouraged to step in and engage themselves with the street kids in any manner that is helpful," she says. Thrice a week, from 7.30 pm to 9 pm, volunteers assemble on the footpath facing a jewellery showroom and interact with the kids.

The sidewalk classes see about 25 kids with five to 10 volunteers, picnics attract over 50 children, including a few of their street-dwelling parents. Money for such outings is raised by volunteers from peers by way of e-mails and oral communication. But it does not end there. Nearby chemists, general practitioners and shopkeepers also offer a helping hand by sponsoring medicines or performing medical check-ups.

Today, with more than 18 million kids on the street, India has the highest concentration of street children in the world. And the number is growing. Many of these children die young for want of simple care. Many of those who survive are consumed by the city’s underbelly.

Human Rights Watch - Street Children

Human Rights Watch

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 25 May 2011]

In Bulgaria, Guatemala, India, and Kenya, Human Rights Watch has reported that police violence against street children is pervasive, and impunity is the norm. The failure of law enforcement bodies to promptly and effectively investigate and prosecute cases of abuse against street children allows the violence to continue. Establishing police accountability is further hampered by the fact that street children often have no recourse but to complain directly to police about police abuses. The threat of police reprisals against them serves as a serious deterrent to any child coming forward to testify or make a complaint against an officer.

Street kids fight another odd: AIDS

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[Last access date unavailable]

They clean your car while you wait at the traffic signal, serve you tea at roadside stalls or just loiter around begging. And a number of them are carriers of the dreaded HIV or may be actually suffering from AIDS.

Deprived of childhood, education and a good future, a large number of street children in West Bengal, especially in Kolkata, have fallen prey to the dreaded disease through regular sexual exploitation and addiction to injectible drugs.

“Street children are victims of various kinds of perversions, like sodomy, rape, and other paedophilic activities. Many are also drug addicts. Girls are more vulnerable,” said Subhasish Guha, associate professor, School of Tropical Medicine. “They are so marginalised that their infections do not come to light, nor do they get medical attention in time. We are providing free anti-retroviral therapy, yet hardly any street children come to us,” he added.

When the school comes calling to these street children

Azera Rahman, Indo-Asian News Service IANS, New Delhi, May 3, 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

Her hair unkempt and dressed in rags, seven-year-old Rani holds a stack of newspapers under her arm at a busy traffic intersection in the city waiting for a car to halt. Just then a van wheels by making her squeal in delight. A host of other kids join her and they run towards it chanting 'Didi'(elder sister).  As three teachers step out of it, the kids gather around it in excitement. The Tamasha Roadshow Van, a mobile school initiative, is a sliver of hope for kids like Rani from the drudgery of their daily grind at the various traffic signals of the city where they sell newspapers, flowers and other odds and ends.

Filled with colourful storybooks and having computers fitted in them, these vans are a storehouse of excitement for the kids. Besides telling stories, colourful pictures, puppets, cards and marbles are also used to teach them in a fun-filled manner. The sessions last for two to three hours a day.  That's not all. Various workshops on candle making, card making and painting are also conducted so that the children can learn new skills and can use them to earn a better living. 'The parents are also convinced this will help their kids enhance skills to earn more that hence encourages them to come to us every day,' she said.

Govt, UNICEF plan education on wheels for slum, street kids

Tenzing Lamsang, The Indian Express News Service, New Delhi, May 03, 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

initially, two buses provided by the Delhi State Industrial Development Corporation will be redesigned, officials said. The bus, which will be designed so that it can reach crowded slums, will cover four areas a day. The bus, on reaching a particular area, will ring an alarm signalling its arrival.  Focus will be on school drop-outs and children who have never gone to school. The bus will also be instrumental in spreading awareness on malaria, dengue and environment, officials added.

For these children, labour is survival

Harshad Pandharipande, Times News Network (The Times of India) TNN, NAGPUR, May 1, 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

Ravi sells bottled water at the railway station and makes about Rs 200 a day.  "But I have to give Rs 150 of that to cops and other bullies. I get to keep the rest,"he says and adds there are younger boys who also work at the station. They do anything from selling gutkha and cigarettes surreptitiously to polishing shoes and scrubbing and sweeping the floor of the railway coaches. Ravi says most of them work voluntarily to support their families. Or themselves, if they are runaways.

Delhi’s street children to get new home

Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times, New Delhi, April 28, 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

Although not all the children would be covered the government intends to bring street children in central Delhi under the ambit of the scheme, that provides both financial and institutional protection to children. "There would be child protection officers in each district to look and investigate into complaints of violation of child rights," a ministry official said.

The government will also allocate funds for construction of the "child shelter homes" having facilities for education and games for children. Explaining the idea behind these homes, a senior ministry official said, children would be welcome in these homes around the clock but no one would be forced to come here. The homes would be run by the NGOs with the help of WCD department of the Delhi government.

NGO lights up future of streetkids

Ruchi Sharma , Indian News Channel CNN-IBN News, New Delhi, Apr 26, 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

Many children like Sagar, who sell flowers or simply beg at traffic points, are today getting an window to education thanks to an initiative called 'Steps for Change'. An NGO, run by a group of youths, has begun this initiative to help street children get basic education.  The NGO educates 80 children in five makeshift centres in Delhi. They teach the children counting, Hindi, English and basic hygiene.

The initiative may or may not have changed much in the lives of these children today. But what seems to be changing for sure is the future of these children and it surely looks much brighter.  But the volunteers of Steps for Change admit that it's difficult to keep the kids like Sagar hooked to books.  "Initially, it was really very difficult to get these kids to come to classes, because first of all, it was a very big thing to connect with them so that they listen to you in the first place," says Pawan, a founder member of the NGO.

Street kids get a park of their own

Sumati Yengkhom, Times News Network (The Times of India) TNN, Kolkata, Apr 20, 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

An adventure park exclusively for the underprivileged children has come up in the city. Tucked away on the southern fringes, Monobitan will open its gates on Thursday.  An initiative of Child In Need Institute (CINI), the fiveacre park near Thakurpurkur has different play areas for children of different ages. While Badhan Hara, a lush green play area for children upto six years has a merry-goround, sea-saw and swings, Bana Mallika caters to bigger children. It has facilities like multi-climbing structure, cycling trek, roller skating pitches and tunnels where the children can play hide and seek. "While working with more than 50,000 street children in Kolkata I realised that they were living in a concrete jungle with no open space to play. The underprivileged children do not have access to the numerous parks in the city. That is how the idea was conceived," said CINI director Samir Chaudhuri.

Street Children in Phulwari Area Admitted in School

Patna, April 12, 2007

This article has been archived by World Street Children News and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 25 May 2011]

Phulwarisharif police station in-charge Shabbir Ahmed, on Thursday, accompanied by other police officials, visited several areas and picked up 76 young boys and girls wandering aimlessly on the streets and had them admitted in a government school in an attempt to rehabilitate them.

Ahmed promised the kids to reward them if they did well in their studies while assuring the parents that the children will be provided with free lunch and free books as long as they stayed in the school.

Why summer means spring for these street children

The Indian Express News Service, Ahmedabad, April 8, 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

Krishna is one of the several children who run away from their homes and take refuge at the Kalupur Railway Station. Fourteen-year-old Sultan, who also collects bottles from various trains arriving at the railway station, says, “I make Rs 100 to 150 by selling used bottles in the market but this is only during summer. During the rest of the seasons, I do not make much money.” Arif Lalbhai, another destitute says that his favourite train is the Okha-Puri Express, which he travels in almost everyday, to get used bottles. He says, “I also sell water pouches to passengers apart from selling bottles in the market. However, Summer is the season in which the business becomes profitable for me as I can get more bottles and sell more number of water pouches.”

Runaway guides

Paromita Pain, The Hindu Business Line, Apr 06, 2007

[accessed 25 May 2011]

WINDOW TO THEIR WORLD - Shekhar Saini and Javed Khan, trust members and designated guides, love their newfound roles. They share their stories with generous doses of candour and humour as they point out the various spots at the station where children get on with their lives. Saini, 21, ran away from home when he was 12. He hung around the Delhi station for a year and then went to the Trust. Today, he has just finished high school and wants to be an actor. He greets the waiting group with infectious enthusiasm and warm confidence, speaking clearly and fast in English while cutting quite a dashing figure in well-fitting jeans and cool accessories. He puts the walk in perspective — "This isn't just about raising awareness about street kids but also showing how much they can achieve if given the right opportunities."

50,000 street kids to get birth certificates

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[Last access date unavailable]

As many as 50,000 of the city’s underprivileged children under the age of 18 years would soon get Indian citizenship.  These are children living on streets, those living below poverty line, and sex workers’ children.

CLPOA’s Bhattacharya said the survey was conducted last year under the guidance of UNICEF. “We decided to give citizenship status to all deprived children born in Kolkata,” he said. “Once they have the birth certificates, these children will be able to get ration cards and other legal documents.”

Interpreter of dreams

Tanvi Sirari, The Indian Express News Service, New Delhi, March 24, 2007

[accessed 26 May 2011]

Roy was eleven when he ran away from his home in Purulia, West Bengal, in 1999. “My parents were strict and they did not want me to play with other kids. I wanted to see the world. At home I felt caged.”  So he made his escape one day and caught a train to Delhi. He lived at the railway station for about six months, filling up discarded mineral water bottles with tap water and selling them to passengers.

How to change the world - The role of the social entrepreneur

Nikhil Mustaffa, The Daily Mirror, March 15, 2007

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 23 September 2011]

As Childline expanded to new cities, the call-tracking system also emerged as an important source of child protection information. National data showed that the biggest killer of street children was tuberculosis, but regional call patterns revealed a variety of local problems. In Jaipur, for example, childline received reports of abuse in the garment and jewelry industries. In Varanasi, there were reports of children being abducted to work in the sari industry. In Delhi, many calls came from middle-class children. In Nagpur, a transit hub, there were frequent reports of children abandoned in train stations. In Goa, a beach resort, a major problem was the sexual abuse of children by foreign tourists.

Street kids make it to classrooms and how

Mihika Basu, The Indian Express News Service, Mumbai, March 11, 2007

[accessed 26 May 2011]

Three-years back all that Sheetal Jagdish Jadhav did was to look after her siblings and roam the streets. Two-year’s ago, Kanaka Valli and her parents used to sell flowers at street signals. And both could never dream of making it to a mainstream school.

Blossoms in the dust

M.G., The Hindu, Mar 04, 2007

[accessed 26 May 2011]

In the bleak barracks behind the Vijay Ghat, on the Yamuna Pushta, are growing up small blossoms in the dust. A group of street children have found a home here, in a shelter run by the Ashray Adhikar Abhiyan (AAA).

AAA volunteers had come across many vulnerable street children and their big concern was how to keep these kids away from drugs, petty crime and exploitation and make them believe that another life was possible.

The organisation felt that education was the key. However, no school was willing to admit children from the streets. In many cases their date of birth, father's name and identification were not known and these were major hurdles to admission.

Slum kids fear rehabilitation

The Indian Express News Service, Lucknow, February 28, 2007

[accessed 26 May 2011]

During the group discussion sessions, children from state shelter homes said the problem of rehabilitation always haunts them. They also said the homes lack proper health facilities. Those children who came from slums complained about the poor health and educational facilities, while those living on the stations said stations witness a lot of criminal activities of which they are forced to be a part.

VOICE children enact street-to-home journey

The Indian Express News Service, Mumbai, February 25, 2007

[accessed 26 May 2011]

Sixteen-year-old Kirti Katarmale started selling lemons at road signals when she was two years old. Now she is preparing for the National Open School board exams and wants to become a teacher.  Fourteen-year-old Radha Shiva Goud has lived outside stations throughout her life, but now has a roof over her head and attends regular classes of English, Hindi and mathematics, besides yoga and karate.

Like Radha and Kirti, 25 girl street children have a place they call “home”, four-square meals a day and proper education all thanks to Sanjivani, a residential home for street children started in August 2006.  Mumbai has over 2,50,000 street children.

From street child to surgeon, Indian girl follows dream

Reuters, Jaipur, 19 February 2007

[accessed 26 May 2011]

Chand’s mother was a prostitute with 16 children living in Japiur’s red light area, and the girl — her family name has been withheld to protect her — was already a child prostitute when she ran away to eke an existence on the streets aged six.

Even for Chand, there is the constant threat of her past dragging her back to wreck her future.

“If I saw my family again they would want me back to become a prostitute again to earn money,” she said simply.

Western Rly pitches in to set street children on right track

The Indian Express News Service, Vadodara, February 19, 2007

[accessed 26 May 2011]

Western Railway authorities are helping to put street kids on the right track. A few months ago, a classroom for non-formal education being run for street children by the Vikas Jyot Trust (VJT), at the Vadodara railway station, was levelled during construction of platform number 6. Following this, the local women's welfare committee, comprising of female railway employees and wives of railway employees, approached the railway authorities and asked them to provide an alternate place for developing a new NFE classroom. Railway authorities agreed to give a stretch of land at Jetalpur Road, in the close vicinity of the railway station.

Vocational training centre for 900 street kids in Maloya

The Indian Express News Service, Chandigarh, February 12, 2007

[accessed 26 May 2011]

Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) is going to construct a vocational training centre for 900 street children at Maloya. While the work on the Rs 9 crore project will start in March, the tenders would be floated next week.  According to the CHB officials, the proposed project would include a hostel for the street children, besides a vocational training centre, where they would be provided training to enable them to become self-dependent.

The project would help in the upliftment of 900 street children, who after their selection, would stay in the hostel and get the required training to make both ends meet.

Civic body offers lifeline for street children

Thiruvananthapuram, The Hindu, Feb 02, 2007

[accessed 26 May 2011]

Robbed of childhood and adult protection, hundreds of street children and juvenile migrant labourers in the city are compelled to negotiate a precarious existence in a dark world of crime, misery and exploitation. The City Corporation is now holding out a lifeline for these vulnerable children.

While a majority of the children have severed ties with their family, a good number of them live with their family either in the streets of the city or in the suburbs. The CDP points out that these children are not deviant or delinquent; in fact they are intrinsically more gifted than the mainstream ones.

The Corporation is planning to establish three new rehabilitation centres in different regions of the city. The existing rehabilitation centres and juvenile homes would be upgraded with improved facilities. It is also proposed to open four bridge schools to impart education to the working children.

10 rescued street children leave for home States

The Hindu, Kochi, Feb 01, 2007

[accessed 26 May 2011]

Ten children rescued from the streets in Kerala started the journey back to their home States, with the help of Don Bosco Sneha Bhavan, from here on Wednesday.

During the past month, the children had been under the care of the Sneha Bhavan, which had been working in association with the city Corporation for 32 years for the welfare of children left on the streets under various circumstances.

A rehabilitation programme for them is being implemented with the cooperation of the Don Bosco network in the country.

Journeying into dark lives of India's street kids

Nayanima Basu, Indo-Asian News Service IANS, New Delhi, Jan 21, 2007

[accessed 26 May 2011]

These poor kids flee their homes for a better life in the huge metros and get gobbled up in the narrow by-lanes, or stinking sewers of the railway stations or bus-stops which are, according to one estimate, home to some 3,000-odd poor young runaways.  They trade leftover drinking water bottles to watch the new movie that comes in the nearby Sheila movie theatre on Fridays. One uncrushed bottle fetches them up to Rs.2, whereas a crushed bottle brings a paltry 50 paise.  Sometimes they also pick up leftover fruits from trains and sell them to the juice-sellers in the platform and earn money.

The children, according to Saini, often fall prey to gang leaders who sometimes sexually assault them or get them into drug addiction. If by chance they escape from the clutches of gang leaders, they are not spared by the railway police who beat them without any reason.

NGOs’ solution to missing saga: Database of slum kids

Tarannum Manjul, The Indian Express News Service, Lucknow,  January 15, 2007

[accessed 26 May 2011]

With the number of missing children increasing in the state, NGOs working for the under-privileged children different districts are now trying to keep a database of street-children and those living in slums. The database will include all details about these children, and in case any child goes missing the NGOs plan to help the police with the same.

Noida — The mirror of Indian society

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[Last access date unavailable]

THE LITTLE PREYS - The weakest of India’s citizens are street children and all you need to do is stop and ask one of them who he fears most in life. Without hesitation, he will tell you that it is the police. In cities like Mumbai and Delhi street children are routinely robbed of their meagre earnings by the police, little girls learn to take rape for granted and everyone knows that any kind of resistance will result in the sort of merciless beating that an NDTV reporter recently captured on his camera at New Delhi railway station.

Braving every day [PDF]

Harsh Mander, Aman Biradari, January 8, 2007

[accessed 23 September 2011]

Like many children who flee their families to escape intolerable abuse, Ratul is unwilling to talk about precisely what drove him from his home. But one night at the age of seven, he walked away decisively from his truck-driving father, mother and two younger brothers, never to return. It was an act of incredible courage for a child so young, echoed and repeated in the lives of tens of thousands of street children who decide at very young ages to bravely escape violence and abuse in their homes — alcoholic fathers, physical and sexual violence — by fending for themselves, at whatever cost.

Mumbai’s street fighters

Deepa Gahlot, Daily News & Analysis DNA, Mumbai, Jan 9, 2007

[accessed 26 May 2011]

“It’s almost impossible to get an accurate census as they are a floating population,” says Dr Madhav Chavan, one of the founders and programme directors of Pratham, an NGO that provides primary education to these children in Mumbai. “Once they get a taste of freedom, living like adults and surviving successfully on the mean streets, they prefer not to return to a disciplined lifestyle.”  Five years ago, the average of children who ran away from home in states such as Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh used to be eight years old. Today that average has dropped to six.

Poor kids appeal to Prez to ensure safety

Press Trust of India PTI, New Delhi, Jan 3, 2007

[accessed 26 May 2011]

Demonstrating against the killings in front of the Indian Social Institute here, Secretary of the organisation Subhash Kumar said, "we condemn the ghastly killings and hereby make an appeal to the honourable President that he take a close look into the matter and ensure the safety of all homeless street children and all those still involved in child labour."

India's Street Kids Find New Lives as Tour Guides

Uwe Buse, Spiegel OnLine International,  Delhi, 12/15/2006,1518,454601,00.html

[accessed 26 May 2011]

Children living on the streets of Delhi, the Indian capital, are trying their luck as tour guides. By giving Westerners a closer look at the life of street kids, they are also helping themselves to escape from an existence of crime and poverty.

Nearly Half A Million Street Kids Shiver In Delhi Winter

P.Vijian, Malaysian National News Agency, NEW DELHI, Dec 10, 2006

This article has been archived by World Street Children News and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 26 May 2011]

The temperature continues to drop in this capital city but these two children continue to defy nature's harsh climate to earn some paisa to feed themselves in the gripping winter.

Similarly, an estimated 400,000 street children in the city hog the streets daily to eke out a painful living in the bustling capital -- resisting all kinds of harassment, from changing climate to child abusers.

Undernourished and thinly dressed, many homeless street children appear to be the most vulnerable people during winter, especially this time around where the weatherman expects temperature to dip below 10 degrees Celsius during most nights in the coming months.

Many of them escape grinding poverty at home, broken families or abusive parents, and bravely venture into the city to feed themselves, despite the extreme cold conditions or scorching heat in summer, which arrives just after winter in the month of May.

Tapping the talent on city streets

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[Last access date unavailable]

In a bid to bringing these children into the mainstream society, Humanity Association is going to organise a children’s theatre festival in February next year.

More kids flee abuse than poverty

Express News Service, Ahmedabad, November 20, 2006

[accessed 24 May 2011]

Contrary to popular myth, more children leave home due to a disturbed domestic environment than abject poverty, according to a report from the Ahmedabad Study Action Group (ASAG) and the Gujarat Institute of Development Research (GIDR).  The study ranks familial harassment as the top reason behind children running away from home.

Education Made Me a Real Human Being

Tehelka, Nov 25 , 2006

[accessed 26 May 2011]

Arriving in Delhi, Shahadat found work at a tea stall. He was, naturally, more concerned about getting enough food every day than in receiving equitable wages, but the tea-stall owner gave him neither enough food nor wages. What he did get in ample daily doses was abuse. After working at the tea shop for 15 days, he fled, retracing his steps to the place he had arrived in the city at — the New Delhi Railway Station. There, in a sad replay of Oliver Twist, he found his “saviour” in the form of the leader of a gang of pickpockets and the “generous” man agreed to take him on as a disciple.

The Kerala difference

R. Krishnakumar, Frontline, Volume 23 - Issue 22 :: Nov. 04-17, 2006

[accessed 9 Aug  2013]

Street children have been found to spend their entire day's wages immediately on food, watching adult movies, or buying drugs, alcohol and other addictive substances; they feel insecure carrying money on them. These children are a challenge to those involved in their rehabilitation, he said.

Street kids have edifying visit to Empire Circus

October 30, 2006

This article has been archived by World Street Children News and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 26 May 2011]

Humaara Footpath is the brainchild of Shubhangi Swarup, a 25-year-old Xavier’s graduate. At the age of 18, she felt an urgent desire to educate street children and now has an informal network of 16 friends helping her realise her dream.

“I first started with the girls who sell gajras at signals,” she said. “We get together at least three times a week in the evenings in front of Tanishq at Churchgate, lay out chatais and do whatever they want, whether it’s drawing, story-telling, singing or English. The biggest need of the day is to create the desire to learn in them. That is the biggest hurdle. So forcing them to bury their noses in books is the last thing anyone should do.”

Smile Please!

Shinjini Singh, The Indian Express News Service, October 29, 2006

[accessed 26 May 2011]

In Sector 8 Vikas Nagar, house number 212, "Gharaunda", is home to eighteen little boys who have progressed from being homeless street kids on the railway station to being students at the local Rani Laxmi Bai school. It has all happened under the loving care of Shachi Singh and her NGO Ehsaas.

Mermier Bal Ashram: a ray of hope for street children

Preeti Gupta, Navi Mumbai News, October 6, 2006

This article has been archived by World Street Children News and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 26 May 2011]

Young children doing odd jobs like polishing shoes, picking rags, working at small eateries, begging at the traffic signals etc., are a common sight in our city. Most of these kids have fled from their home for various reasons and live on streets. The hunger pangs lead these kids towards these weird jobs or begging,

The sad state of these kids smashes our claims of being a modern and progressive city. However, all hope is not yet lost. Non-governmental organizations like Jan Vikas Society (JVS) are trying to create a better world, fit for all children irrespective of caste, colour, creed and sex.

40 per cent of workers on building sites are children

Chitra V. Ramani, The Hindu, Bangalore, Oct 07, 2006

[accessed 26 May 2011]

"I do not work every day. I only work on days when my mother is ill," said Hema (names of the children have been changed to protect identities), a nine-year-old construction worker.

"I ran away from home because my father used to beat me every day," said Mukesh, a 12-year-old who cleans the floor of train compartments to earn some money.

Hema and Mukesh are two of a kind, both working when they should be studying and playing like other children.

Guntur turns haven for street children

Southern News - Andhra Pradesh, Guntur, October 1 2006

This article has been archived by World Street Children News and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 26 May 2011]

Each child has a tale to tell. For instance, Mokkulu Rajendra Kumar (12) lost his parents in a road accident at Gudiwada four months back. Since then, he has been eking out a livelihood here by collecting waste paper.

Childline to help children in distress in India

[Last access date unavailable]

For instance, close to 150,000 street children live in New Delhi, of which 7 — 10 percent are runaways. More than 2,500 of these children live in and around the New Delhi Railway Station, where they scavenge for food in rubbish heaps and sleep between the tracks. Runaway girls who show up at the train station tend to be picked up by pimps within a day. All of the children are potential victims of drug peddlers, child traffickers — and the harsh street life of New Delhi.  The basic objective of the Childline service, which can be accessed by dialing 1098, is to respond to children in emergency situations.

Homeless No More


[Last access date unavailable]

"Today we have 20 children, seven of them girls, all aged between four to 14; abandoned in slums and railway stations around the area. Parents of some of the children cannot afford to look after them," says John. The couple has promised to look after the children for 18 years. Their parents and grand parents are granted visiting rights.

No room for child labour

Paromita Pain & Shalini Umachandran, The Hindu Business Line, Sep 08, 2006

[accessed 26 May 2011]

From October 1, no home or hotel can employ children below 14 years. But can a mere ban resolve the complex socio-economics issues involved?

Bhola (name changed) left his mother, siblings and their ramshackle hut in Himachal Pradesh and came down to Chennai to work. He takes care of a partially paralysed senior citizen, and his chores include wiping away the constant dribble from his mouth and feeding mashed food with tremendous patience. Bhola, all of nine years, sits quietly by the old man's wheelchair with a `wipe cloth' tied to his waist.

From October 10, though, life might change for Bhola and children like him when the Government's ban on employment of children below 14 in homes, hotels, roadside eateries, resorts, and spas comes into effect. Early in August, the Labour Ministry announced that it was adding these jobs to the list of hazardous occupations in which child labour is banned under the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986.

NGO to teach more street children

The Indian Express News Service, Mumbai, August 27, 2006

[accessed 26 May 2011]

Eleven-year-old Farida, a street kid, wants to become a doctor. She would have perhaps never believed she could realise her dream had it not been for Door Step School.

Backward and forward linkages that strengthen primary education

Vimala Ramachandran, 17 August 2006 -- [This is an overview of a collection of 10 case studies on backward and forward linkages that strengthen primary education. This research (supported by DFID, India) was completed in March 2001. This collection, titled ‘Getting Children Back to School: Case Studies in Primary Education’ was scheduled for publication in 2003 by Sage Publications India]

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 26 May 2011]

IV CHILDREN, WORK AND EDUCATION - Primary education in India is not compulsory; nor is child labour illegal. The result is that a large proportion of our children between ages six and 14 are not in school. They stay at home to care for younger siblings, tend cattle, collect firewood, and work in the fields. They find employment in cottage industries, tea-stalls, restaurants, or as domestics in middle class homes. They become prostitutes or live as street children, begging or picking rags and bottles from trash for resale. Many are bonded labourers, tending cattle and working as agricultural labourers for local landowners.’3

There is, formally, a widespread consensus about ending child labour and establishing compulsory universal primary education for all children up to the age of 14, a commitment that can be traced back to Gopal Krishna Gokhale’s efforts at the turn of the last century. Yet, numerous commissions, reports, plans and experiments notwithstanding, more than five decades after independence, the situation remains dismal. Not only do many children never enter school, there are many of those who do drop out before completing basic education. And scores of children from the most deprived strata are or become part of the workforce.

At Sambhaji Park, miles of smiles mark celebrations for street children

Anuradha Mane, The Indian Express News Service, Pune, August 17, 2006

[accessed 27 May 2011]

And it was only after a rigorous five-day training, squeezed between their daily schedules of rag-picking or selling knick-knacks at traffic signals, that the 100 children were ready for the D-day.

The heroes of Jamghat

Madhu Gurung, The Hindu, Aug 13, 2006

[accessed 27 May 2011]

SAME STORY, AGAIN AND AGAIN - He was 10 when he began living on the streets of Delhi. His friends have similar stories to tell of why they ran away from home to the urban jungle where every day was spent in trying to survive hunger, beating, illness, sexual abuse and fear.

Rajasthan's homeless children find shelter

[Last access date unavailable]

JUVENILE JUSTICE ACT - The Juvenile Justice Act of 2000 states that all children must be given the right to food, shelter, healthcare and education.

So far, even a formal census on the number of children living on the streets and are vulnerable to abuses has not been conducted.

In Rajasthan alone, an informal organisation found that out of 1.5 million street children, not even one per cent have been provided shelter.

Vagrants & street children: they need a hand

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[Last access date unavailable]

The privileged and the employed have, more often than not, regarded vagrants with suspicion and contempt apart from the usual dismissive sneer. Little are they aware of the creative fire that lies in them. The “Bhabaghure O Pathashishu Mela — 2006” aims at exploring that creative streak in vagrants and street children.

Unique talent hunt for street kids

Bindu Shajan Perappadan, The Hindu, New Delhi, Jul 30, 2006

[accessed 27 May 2011]

It's a search for the Capital's very own "Chhupey Rustum''. Looking for the star of tomorrow, this unique talent hunt exclusively for street and working children under 18 is all set to take off this coming month. It will comb through every nook and corner of the city scouting for the very best talent in performing arts.

The boy racer

Amelia Gentleman, Observer Sport Monthly, 30 July 2006

[accessed 12 February 2011]

There is something disturbing about Budhia's odd touring lifestyle, with the constant pressure on him to run, dress up and perform for the media. But there is something just as bleak about the slum life into which he was born. A few hundred yards from the hostel, dozens of street children Budhia's age are struggling to survive in the slums by old Delhi railway station. They can be seen in the streets nearby, addicted to industrial solvents, fighting among themselves as they scavenge for food. This is the life that Budhia could have had and has left behind, at least for now.

SNEHA Chalks Out Scientific Plans To Tackle Malnutrition

Jayata Sharma, The Indian Express Healthcare Management, July 2006

[accessed 27 May 2011]

ITS MISSION - Founded in 1999, by a group of concerned doctors and social workers, SNEHA is committed to improving the total well being of women and children living in urban slums. While many NGOs work to provide shelter, education, vocational training and recreation to the city's street children, SNEHA observes that the health needs of this overwhelmingly large section of the society are neglected.

Monsoon of points in Kolkata

Nick Hyde, Quins Community Development, Kolkata

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 27 May 2011]

The second game of the season was the opening game in the 'cup', with Future Hope Harlequins facing their old adversaries, the Kolkata Police. Things have changed in Kolkata; street children were regularly pursued by policemen, but Future Hope and rugby has started to change the perception of street children within the Kolkata Police. Now best of friends, Future Hope boys have coached and officiated for the police and were integral to the smooth running of the Kolkata Police 10s played last month.

'Street India Movement' to help street children in Kerala

Bureau Report, Kochi, July 6, 2006

[accessed 23 September 2011]

With the objective of wiping out child labour and begging by children and to create an India without 'street children', a state-level organisation titled 'Street India Movement' has been formed by some social service organisations, here.  The organisation will have the involvement of orphanages, which looks after street children, and individuals working in various social service organisations.

Street children join celebration

The Hindu, Tamil Nadu - Chennai, Jun 26, 2006

[accessed 27 May 2011]

More than 500 street and working children gathered at the St. Anthony's Anglo Indian High School, Pudupet, here on Saturday evening to celebrate Nesakkaram's school enrolment day.

The non-governmental organisation has been enabling out of school children to enter mainstream schools with counselling and material assistance from year 2000.

The keepers of the flame, 2006-06-23

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 27 May 2011]

Social workers are faith workers of a different kind. They aim to right the accident of birth - like helping slum children not having access to education or clean drinking water. Seen ragpickers rummaging through dustbins for their food? Well, this is reality at its worst for some children, almost the minute their born but there is hope,  because some noble people keep them going.

What these street children dream of? Education

The Indian Express News Service, Ahmedabad, June 11, 2006

[accessed 27 May 2011]

These street children live in areas surrounding the Kalupur Railway Station like the Victoria Bridge, Saraspur and Jamalpur, the findings state. The study also points out that these children earn a substantial amount of income by pulling luggage carts and picking up bottles on the railway platform. They earn Rs 25 to Rs 150, and a major share of this income is spent on food while rest is spent on sniffing solvent, the study says.

Mumbai street kids fall prey to drugs

Tejas Mehta, Mumbai, June 5, 2006

This article has been archived by World Street Children News and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 27 May 2011]

A large number of street kids in Mumbai are heavily into dope, by chasing, snorting, smoking and injecting. Many of these children stay doped through the day to hide from the daily run of the city. They have been addicts for years, and some started as early as at the age of eight.

Indian street kids offer glimpse into their lives

Parul Gupta, Agence France-Presse AFP, May 11, 2006

[accessed 2 March 2015]

Javed Khan left his village home at the age of nine to see monuments in the Indian capital New Delhi where the bustling railway station was to be home for the next seven years.

During that time, Khan lived in an empty sewer, went without food for five days, was stabbed, reported to a gang leader of street children and saw his friends lose their lives to alcohol and drug addiction.

Slum tours: a day trip too far?

Amelia Gentleman, The Observer, 7 May 2006

[accessed 27 May 2011]

He pauses to give the group of visitors from Australia, Russia and England a chance to ask questions, before running through the advantages of sleeping in the gap between the platform roof and the walkway. It's shady and you have to be small to get to it, which makes it relatively safe from the station police. But there are the overhead electricity wires to look out for. 'Several of the children have been electrocuted by that wire,' he adds.

These children finally have an identity to flash

Tarannum Manjul, The Indian Express News Service, Lucknow, May 05, 2006

[accessed 27 May 2011]

Seven-year-old Munnu is no longer just another face in the crowd of street children. He finally has an identity which he carries with pride.  Munnu, like nearly 2,000 other destitute children of the city, are now identified as the ‘Street and Working Children’, and also, ‘Children in Difficult Circumstances’.

TV star reunites runaway & family

Reena Thapar Kapoor and Santosh Andhale, May 25, 2006

This article has been archived by World Street Children News and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 27 May 2011]

Rafiq said that he ran away from home because he was fed up of the constant shouting and nagging of his step mother and grandmother. "Nani beat me up ruthlessly because I was weak in studies so I left home and headed towards the railway station. Once there, I did not know what to do so I boarded the first train that came on the platform," disclosed Rafiq.

Though he does not remember which train it was, he said he realised he had reached Mumbai as the sign board read Mumbai Central and he was told that the train would not go beyond that.

Without any relative or friend in Mumbai, Rafiq started begging on the trains for the first two months and slept on various railway stations.

Street children savour care

Rajib Chatterjee, The Statesman, Kolkata, April 30, 2006

This article has been archived by World Street Children News and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 27 May 2011]

Where have all the street children gone? They have gone to schools, thanks to Love and Care Foundation, a social service organisation formed by the residents of Tarakeswar, Singur and Haripal.

About 120 street children from Tarakeswar, Singur and Haripal go to three schools formed by the organisation at three villages in Tarakeswar. Apart from offering the usual lessons, the organisation also tries to develop moral and ethical values among the students.

The schools also provide vocational training to the children. Many of the students have gone to secondary schools after passing out from primary school.

Begging menace on the increase

The Hindu, Thiruvananthapuram, Apr 29, 2006

[accessed 27 May 2011]

Street children, who form a sizable segment of alms-seekers in city, are vulnerable to wanton cruelty, sexual exploitation and drug abuse. A majority of the street children are hooked to chemical solvents such as petrol, liquid shoe-polish and adhesives that contain addictive substances.

Inhalation of petrol fumes is a common addiction seen among the street children.

The street children procure shoe-polish, thinner and adhesives which contain turpentine from shops and inhale them to get a high.

A dream come true for street kids

Bindu Shajan Perappadan, The Hindu, New Delhi, Apr 26, 2006

[accessed 27 May 2011]

It was like a dream come true for 52 street children and working children from Delhi and Noida who finally got an opportunity to go to school.

Street children now direct traffic as policemen

AsiaNews/UCAN, Bangalore, February 12, 2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 27 May 2011]

Former street children now direct traffic on the busy roads of Bangalore as part of a Church center's efforts to bring them into the social mainstream.  Neatly dressed in khaki pants and white shirts, black shoes and white hats, no one would call them "dirty street children" any more

INDIA-AIDS: Street Children Are Most Vulnerable

Bijoy Basant Patro, InterPress News Service IPS, NEW DELHI, 3 September 1997

[accessed 27 May 2011]

Uma (not her real name) was nine years old when she was first raped by a gang of homeless boys at the New Delhi railway station, where she also lives. She said it happened over and over again after that, until last year she became pregnant and delivered a stillborn child on the platform.

Information about Street Children - India [DOC]

This report is taken from “A Civil Society Forum for South Asia on Promoting and Protecting the Rights of Street Children”, 12- 14 December 2001, Colombo, Sri Lanka

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 27 May 2011]

India has the largest number of child laborers in the world.  There is widespread poverty, unemployment, increasing rural-urban migration, attraction of city life and a lack of political will to address the increasing numbers of children on the streets.  Street children are subject to malnutrition, hunger, health problems, substance abuse, theft, CSE, harassment by the city police and railway authorities, as well as physical and sexual abuse.

Police Abuse And Killings Of Street Children In India

Human Rights Watch Children's Rights Project, November 1996

[accessed 24 May 2011]

Indian street children are routinely detained illegally, beaten and tortured and sometimes killed by police. Several factors contribute to this phenomenon: police perceptions of street children, widespread corruption and a culture of police violence, the inadequacy and non-implementation of legal safeguards, and the level of impunity that law enforcement officials enjoy.

Street Kids India Expedition

Street Kids India Expedition SK'i.e -- funded by Singapore International Foundation SIF

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 27 May 2011]

Kolkata is the capital city of the state of West Bengal. Formerly known as Calcutta, she has a population of more than 10 million.  This city of joy now has thousands of children who live in appalling conditions on streets or railway platforms, or in markets, slums and squatter colonies. Surviving on the edge, these vulnerable children are exposed to physical, economic and sexual exploitation.

Sexual Health in Slum & Street children India, Research & Intervention

Streetkids-Sexual and Reproductive Health SRH

[accessed 27 May 2011]

Since 2001 an extensive research & prevention / intervention program on sexual health and teenage slum & street children in India has started.

Street Children Of India -- A Glimpse

Nigam S., PMID: 12289892 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

[accessed 28 May 2011]

90% of street children are working children with regular family ties who live with their families, but are on the streets due to poverty and their parents' unemployment. The remaining 10% are either working children with few family ties who view the streets as their homes or abandoned and neglected children with no family tie

CDB is the first bank initiated and run by street & working children [DOC]

The Children's Development Bank CDB

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 23 September 2011]

The Children’s Development Bank’s (CDB) 400 account holders -- mostly "rag pickers" and street-children -- own and run the bank from its headquarters at a night shelter for homeless children. Many of the children, some as young as 10 and 11, sell newspapers, boxes of tissues and other wares at traffic intersections. Some work on daily wages. Others collect waste and then sell it for recycling.

Delhi children make play of the net

BBC News, 27 August, 2001

[accessed 28 May 2011]

His idea was simple. He installed a computer on the wall of his south Delhi office that was facing a slum and watched what happened. Children in the slum were intrigued by the icons on the computer, and completely without any help, gradually figured out how to use the computers and access the internet.

Railway cops' bid to reform street children

Neil Pate, Times News Network (The Times of India) TNN, Feb 27, 2004

[accessed 19 September 2011]

Touched by the plight of city urchins, many of whom are forced to live on railway platforms, the Government Railway Police (GRP) have started holding evening classes in hygiene and primary education for the children.  Marathi and Hindi primary school texts form the basis of this extraordinary platform.  A majority of the urchins have fled their homes to escape ill treatment and poverty.  Most of them make a living as rag pickers, shoeshine boys or hawkers.  The most disturbing problem, however, is that nearly 90 per cent of them are addicted to inhaling toxic vapors of chemicals such as thinners and whiteners.

Oxfam in India - The street children of Mysore


[accessed 9 Aug  2013]

Some children in India are homeless and have no family or house to go to, so they live on the street. This leaves them vulnerable and open to exploitation. Oxfam has funded groups in India working with these street children.

25/09/2003 - Summer team big hit with India street kids

Welshpool Baptist Church WBC

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 28 May 2011]

 “We taught at the Mobile School for street children. Here, the children were collected by minibus from their pavement homes and brought to the school where the first task was to wash them and give them a school shirt to wear. There were around 30 children aged from three to ten years old, and this was their first experience of school, which aimed to give them skills before moving them on to a bigger school. The mobile school also provides medical care and a free meal to the children before they go back to the streets.

Street Children Of Bombay

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 23 September 2011]

An estimated 35,000 street children live in Bombay, India.  They arrive every day searching for a better life, showing courage and resilience that would put most adults to shame

Street kids find joy with Miss India

Times News Network (The Times of India) TNN, MUMBAI, Nov 1, 2003

[accessed 28 May 2011]

Ms Vashi said that she was glad to be associated with Project Mainstream which takes care of 19,000 street children, providing meals and vocational training for them. A business analyst herself, Ms Vashi said that Project Mainstream’s effort to improve the lot of these children and make them independent was particularly impressive.

On the streets where they live [PDF]

[accessed 24 May 2011]

Delhi’s streetchildren have set up an alternative forum for themselves. They meet, discuss problems, and even publish their own newspaper.  There are 400,000 streetchildren in Delhi. The capital’s streets and roads are their workplace. For 100,000 of these children, the streets double as home. They have nowhere else to go. Streetchildren work as rag-pickers, in tea-stalls and dhabhas (roadside eateries), as shoeshine boys or vendors. But street life can be unpleasant and risky. They face physical abuse, the callousness of policemen, are vulnerable to drugs and to health insecurities.

Why Become a Rag-Picker or Street Child?

Street Children Ministry

[accessed 9 Aug  2013]

THE RAGPICKER'S DAILY ROUTINE - As a street child, between five and eighteen years of age, these children earn their livelihood by polishing shoes, washing cars, finding parking spaces, rag picking (recycling garbage), selling lottery tickets and news papers, etc. They also work as coolies and helpers in automobile repair shops, construction sites, and hotels. Their average earnings vary between 15 Rupees to 20 per day, while the more experienced ones earn 25 to 40 Rupees. However, these are the lucky ones. The Girls are forced into prostitution at an early age.

Arising at dawn, the rag picker children start their rounds. With feet bare and backs aching, they carry the heavy gunny bags that contain the day's pickings. Sometimes on foot they travel over 20 kilometers each day for the best pickings. Their clothing is filthy, tattered, ill fitting, and wholly inadequate for protection especially, when the weather is wet and cold.

Life is very hard as they rummage (competing and fighting with stray dogs and cattle) through every filthy garbage heap in the city and railway stations. All recyclable garbage is collected and sorted: paper, plastic, bottles, bones, metals and rotting discarded food thrown out by households and railway passengers. With this they fill their bags and often their starving bellies. If the day's collection is bad, they resort to stealing for survival. If good, they rush to the nearest wayside shop to ease their hunger.

All have regular scrap dealers to buy their loot. They receive a meager pittance, and sometimes this pittance is withheld to repay a previous enforced loan. Some days they starve. If a better price is negotiated by another dealer, the child is frequently beaten and tied up.

However the issue of greater concern is related to their pattern of spending, where a major part of their income is spent on drugs, alcohol, solvent abuse (sniffing solvents), and gambling. They frequently become involved in street fights. With little money and too much freedom, they are vulnerable and fall prey to any number of situations that threaten life and soul.

Late in the afternoon they resume their second round of collection. Then after sorting and selling their loot, they spend their nights on the streets or in graveyards, where they are exploited and abused. Older rag pickers and perverted people give them drugs or threaten them for sexual purposes, thus exposing them to A.I.D.S, and many more sexual and life threatening diseases.

A rag picker is not a beggar. He works hard and considers rag picking a profession of choice. It enables him to earn money, daily, and offers him ample amounts of free time. They are very loyal and protective of each other, sharing food and money. The rag picker is proud and feels that he is master of his own life.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Street Children - India",, [accessed <date>]



Torture in  [India]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [India]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [India]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [India]  [other countries]