COVID-19 Resources
Homeless Children in India

Children without homes are a major issue in India more so in urban cities and towns. Many such children can be found in railway stations, near temples and dargahs, in markets, under bridges, near bus depots and stops among other places. These children lack a stable home or a shelter and some of them have no family ties. They are easy victims of abuse and inhuman treatment, and are often engaged in petty theft or prostitution for economic survival.

There are a number of factors that lead children to living on the street. One root cause that has been identified is poverty. Often, there are those kids who are runaways - having escaped abusive or dangerous environments or those who runaway from homes for better jobs in cities. Almost 50% of street children are self-employed as rag-pickers, hawkers and shoeshine boys, while others work in shops and establishments. Their work hours range between 10-13 hours a day. These children are exposed to high health hazards due to unhygienic living conditions and having no shelter they are also constantly exposed to environmental conditions of heat, cold and rain. Many homeless children living in public spaces also face harassment by municipal authorities and police.

 

Case Study

1.Homeless Children in India Case Study

Two homeless children found at hotel given permanent shelter

A hotel owner from Jharkhand called 1098 to inform about two children who had come to his hotel in search of work. The caller also informed CHILDLINE team that the children’s father had passed away, and their mother was accused of trafficking and sent to jail. The CHILDLINE team along with the Police went to the spot and met the hotel owner. The team and the police authorities learned that both the children were staying at the hotel as they had no other place to stay. The CHILDLINE team took the children from the hotel and later they were produced before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC). As per the CWC's order, both children were provided with permanent shelter.

(*Name and details changed to protect the child)

2. Case Study - Deloitte Impact Day at Mankhurd Shelter Home

Deloitte Impact day was held on 28th November 2014 at the Mankhurd Shelter Home. The day began with the children giving a heartwarming welcome to the 60 Deloitte employees who had come to interact with the children and spend some quality time with them. First, an introduction to the Children's Home was organized by the shelter authorities so as to make the Deloitte employees familiar with the home.

The children at the shelter home were excited to meet their new friends and mingled well with the Deloitte team. To make the shelter home an appealing and pleasing environment for the children the Deloitte employees painted all the walls of the home with different cartoon characters. This made the children’s eyes lit up with joy and they were highly enthusiastic over this activity. The aim of the Deloitte group was to make the shelter home a child-friendly space and create an atmosphere of safety and protection through this effort.

In the afternoon, the Deloitte volunteers conducted a drawing competition for all the children. The drawing materials were provided by the volunteers as the children participated with great vigour and enthusiasm. The volunteers encouraged the children to express themselves through colours and shapes. All the children came up with some fantastic drawings which created a sense of achievement for not only the children but also the Deloitte volunteers. The children were later given a huge surprise by the volunteers when they were offered bath towels, soaps, crayons, pens, pencils, erasers, drawing materials, chocolates and biscuits. At the end of the visit, the volunteers thanked the children and the staff of the home for giving them the opportunity to interact with them.

Deloitte has always been an ardent supporter of CHILDLINE and is always at the forefront to support the cause. The Deloitte Impact day which is carried out regularly is a promise that Deloitte understands the need for the right to a happy childhood and will constantly assist CHILDLINE to help children in need of care and protection.