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Hamara Foundation:Development Initiative For Street Children

Street children are an urban phenomenon all over the world. The problem of street children is growing in big cities and towns as a consequence of the growth in size and complexities of cities. The processes of urbanisation, rural-urban migration, globalisation and family disintegration have caused many social problems including the problem of marginalised children. Among the broad category of marginalised children, a group of street children stands out due to their specific characteristics and life style. Street children are extremely vulnerable group because of the way they are forced to live homeless on the streets. They are roofless, rootless and alienated from the society. The place of their abode is the street, railway stations, bridges, beneath fly over, temples and dargahs. They grow up on the margins of the society without love, care, protection and supervision of adults. Street children are deprived of their basic rights of survival, protection, development and participation.

 

Street children have to fend for themselves for their own survival and sometimes for the survival of their family as well. Civic amenities like latrines and bathing facilities are beyond their reach. Malnutrition and hunger is widespread among them. Due to constant exposure to the unhealthy conditions of living on the streets, children suffer from a range of ailments. Owing to the lack of guardian control over their lives children indulge in various addictions like smoking, sniffing glue, and Xerox solutions leaving them debilited. Street children become the victims of the sub-culture of the street: drug abuse, gambling, drinking, vagrancy, thieving and prostitution. They are high-risk group for HIV/AIDS.

Street children are subjected to harassment and eviction by the municipal authorities because of their unauthorized occupation of city roads and vacant places. Street children are also harassed by the city police and railway authorities. Many are arrested for minor infringements. They are victims of physical and sexual abuse. Lack of an access to basic services of shelter, health care, education and training, lack or alternative livelihood options, lack of societal acceptance and legal status (for want of ration cards) are the major issues of street children. The problem of street children is multifaceted and needs to be understood in proper perspective. Professional social work intervention strategies are necessary to address their needs and problems.

Studies on street children in several cities in India highlight the magnitude of this problem. In the city of Mumbai alone there are 2 lakh children on the street. They are mainly boys in the formative group of 10 to 15 years and most of them are illiterates and school dropouts.

Hamara Foundation

Hamara Foundation was initially established as “Hamara Club” meaning “Our Club” by the Unit for Child and Youth Research in the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in July1989 in response to the emerging problem of street children in Mumbai. Later on, this field action project of TISS started functioning independently as NGO since 2002.

Specific Objectives

 

  • Reach out to children in selected areas of Mumbai City.
  • Provide need-based services for their growth and development.
  • Create public awareness about the problems and needs of street children.
  • Network with governmental and non-governmental agencies dealing with street children, such as the police, municipal corporations, and Judiciary and welfare agencies working with vulnerable children.

The major thrust of the organization is to provide professional social work interventions to this specific target group in child rights perspective.

Target Group

Children below the age of 18 years who live/work on the streets, children of pavement dwellers and homeless children.

Main Activities of Hamara Foundation:

 
(click on the links below)
Street Children Project (Hamara Club)

Intervention strategies

Understanding of the specific characteristics of street children and their life style is very important for evolving suitable strategies to address their needs. Street children are not willing to be helped unless they have faith and trust in worker. Their life expectation teaches them to distrust adults. They are resourceful with high coping capacity. Their ego remains intact in spite of living under very adverse conditions.

The children on the street have inner strengths and potentials, which need to find expression. The traditional approach of custodial care in the form of institutional structure, like Observation Homes and Juvenile Homes, is not suitable for them.

Hamara Club is, basically, a community –based model with a special emphasis on the ‘contact progremme’. Through an outreach Programme’ and ‘Street presence’, the social workers contact children living and working on the streets. They gain an insight into their problems and specific needs and motivate them to use the various services for their welfare and development provided in the ‘ contact centers’ established not too far from the place of their stay/ work. Self-referrals are encouraged and a child- to-child approach is promoted. Older boys refer newcomers and small children to project workers for intervention. The main emphasis of the ‘contact programme’ is on creating awareness among street children about their life and work situation, enabling them to have access to basic services of health, education, vocational training and recreation.

As these children live in groups, working with the group is more effective than working in one-to-one situation. Children and youth (ex-beneficiaries) are involved in planning and implementing the ongoing activities of the contact centers. Their own involvement in the decision –making for their own lives is crucial for the sources of such an endeavour. In that sense, it is an effective strategy to protect their rights of participation.

Programmes and services:

Various developmental and need based services are provided to nearly 500 children through six contact centres.

Location of contact centres

Six contact centers of Hamara Foundation mostly situated in Municipal school buildings, near railway stations, State Transport bus-stands and religious places like temples and dargahs are now functioning in two municipal wards (D and G south wards) of Mumbai. Street children, in these geographical areas, have an easy access to these contact centers for utilizing the various services offered.

Education

Formal Education: Seventy children were enrolled in various Municipal schools in the Months of June- July 2006.

Hamara Foundation: Development Initiative For Street Children

A total number of 315 street children were enrolled in schools during the last five years.

At present 241 children attend various Municipal schools, of whom 51 per cent girls. Among school going children 48 percent study in primary schools, while 52 per cent are at the secondary level. Regular meetings with schools teachers and parents, provision of study classes and supportive services in terms of educational materials and uniforms, counseling to children and their families help enhance scholastic performance of children and prevent school drop outs.

No. of Street children taken to school during the five years.

Hamara Foundation: Development Initiative For Street Children

Particulars for school children by Contact Centre, Sex and the Educational level as on June, 2006.

Location of the center Primary Upper Primary Secondary Total
  M F T M F T M F T M F T
Mumbai Central 7 3 10 7 2 09 1 -- 1 15 5 20
K.K.Marg 7 19 26 7 17 24 5 8 13 19 44 63
Prabhadevi 13 12 25 18 15 33 8 7 15 40 34 73
Mahalaxmi 10 9 19 9 2 11 2 1 3 21 12 33
Nagpada 10 8 18 3 1 4 -- - 0 13 9 22
Dadar 8 7 15 3 2 5 10 1 11 21 10 31
Total 55 58 114 47 40 85 26 17 34 113 117 241

Note : M = Male F = Female T = Total

Intervention for street children for the period from 1993-94 to 2005-06

Year

Enrolled
In
Municipal
Schools

 

(1)

Supportive
Services
for school
going
children

 

(2)

Sponsorships
Programme

 

(3)

Vocational
Training

 

 

(4)

Job
Placement/
Employment

 

(5)

Financial assistance for self-
Employment

 

(6)

Restoration to family/Repatriation

 

(7)

1993-94

47

47

-

25

2

1

-

1994-95

11

39

-

06

1

2

5

1995-96

48

186

4

58

2

13

3

1996-97

27

99

10

16

11

3

3

1997-98

34

205

12

9

5

4

2

1998-99

35

198

19

25

4

2

8

1999-2000

36

231

16

22

3

13

9

2000-01

42

259

21

168

3

20

15

2001-02

47

298

17

212

5

11

25

2002-03

60

256

17

443

-

-

-

2003-04

69

225

24

98

3

-

5

2004-05

69

230

12

200

-

-

10

2005-06

70

240

17

224

1

-

9

Total

 

 

 

1506

40

69

94

Source: Hamara Foundation Annual Reports from 1993-94 to 2005-2006.

Note: Total of items No.1, 2, and 3 are not given as many children have continued the assistance in the consecutive years.

Sponsorship for school going children

Every year 20 to 25 children get sponsorship for their education from the National Sponsorship council including the sponsorship of 12 girls under " Nanhi Kali’ Project ".

Non-Formal Education

NFE is an important component of development services at the contact centers. On an average 30 to 40 children attend NFE classes daily. Every year, nearly 250 children learn to read and write sentences and numbers from1 to 100, trough teaching methods and materials developed under Concentrated Language Encounter (C.L.E) and Pratham Project.

Newspaper reading and functional literacy are given great emphasis to enhance their general knowledge.

Educative and informative workshops on several topics like child rights, laws relating to children, saving scheme, healthy life style, Leadership etc. regularly organised

Hamara Foundation: Development Initiative For Street Children

Health Care

Health care services includes provision of the first aid facility at each contact centre, regular medical check-up of children collaboration with the medical team of Nair Hospital, referral of sick children to general hospitals for medical treatment. Ten volunteers who are trained as Bal doctor assists
the Project staff to handle first aid and medical cases.

Hamara Foundation: Development Initiative For Street Children

Sex education, AIDS awareness and de-addiction programmes are regularly organized. Bathing facility has been provided for children at the Sulabh Sauchalaya located in the Mumbai Central premises and near Haji Ali Dargah.

Nutrition

With the help of Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust nutritious food is provided to 200 children under “Food for Saving Scheme”, towards which children contribute Rs.2/- to 10/- per meal. The money collected from children is treated as their own savings.

Hamara Foundation: Development Initiative For Street Children

Skills Training

Vocational training and skills training assume greater significance for these children towards better job opportunity and increasing their earning capacity. Children in the age group of 14-18 years are provided vocational training though agencies like Shramik Vidyapeeth, Project Mainstream, Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) and Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA). Depending on the interest and aptitude of children.Training is provided in trades like tailoring, screen printing, driving, security guard course, and soap making.

Recreation

Facilities of indoor and outdoor games and provided at all contact centres.Picnics and outings, day and residential camps, sports competition , screening film shows, cultural programmes on several occasions are part of recreational activities for children.

Hamara Foundation: Development Initiative For Street Children

A cricket team of Hamara Club children is a winning team among teams of children of other NGOs in C.D.and E Wards and the best players awards are invariably own by our children.

Children are motivated to save a part of their earning. Their savings range from Rs.5/- to Rs.100/- per day. The saving boxes are kept at the contact
centres and separate savings accounts are maintained. Assistance is provided to older children to open their savings accounts in banks and Post Offices.

Income Generating Activities

Children prepare articles like greeting cards, rakhis , Diwali lamps , office flies and folders, envelopes and paper bags. These articles are put up for exhibition-cum- sale at different places. On an average an amount of Rs.10,000/-is annually collected through the sale of such articles.

Financial Assistance

Deserving young boys are provided with financial assistance to starts small-scale businesses, such as toy shops, juice stalls, foot wear shops, fruits vending, shoe shining and so on, and also for preparing taxi badges and obtaining driving licenses for those who have completed the divining course.

Referral Services

Around 100 children are annually referred to several organizations for night shelter, institutional care, and employment and for their eventual rehabilitation.

Individual and Group Counseling

Hamara Foundation: Development Initiative For Street Children

Counseling services are provided to children individually and through group sessions to help them deal with their emotional and personal problems. It helps them to share their experiences, feelings and aspirations, develop self-confidence and facilitates the process of empowerment.

Balwadi (Pre – School Education Programme)

Hamara Foundation: Development Initiative For Street Children Hamara Foundation: Development Initiative For Street Children

An expanded activity of the Street Children Project a Balwadi for 30 underprivileged children was started in 1995. These children are belongs to Pardshi community earning livelihood by cane work and staying on pavements of Foras road. Till one room at K.K.Marg Municipal School was not available. Balwadi was being conducted in Hanuman Temple and under the tree in school premises for quite some time.

After successful completion of pre-school education programme 12 to 14 children are enrolled every year in municipal schools for primary education.

Recently, another Balwadi is started for homeless children in the vicinity of Mumbai Central.

CHILDLINE Support Oganisation

Hamara Foundation: Development Initiative For Street Children

CHILDLINE is 24 a hours emergency free telephone service for children in crisis. The telephone number 1098 is operational in all 67 cities in India. There are 35 support organizations all over the country, which work for the noble cause of CHILDLINE service. Hamara Foundation is the oldest support organization functioning since 1996. Annually, 300 to 400 cases mainly with problems of ill health, major sickness like T.B, accidents and missing children are dealt with. CHILDLINE Team work towards creating awareness about this Helpline for children in needs of care and protection through outreach, rallies, posters, slogans, street plays, open House meetings with children, meetings with Mahila Mandals , Youth Mandals and schools teachers During Ganesh festival awareness campaign on CHILLDLINE are organised in collaboration with local Ganesh Mandals .

Repatriation

Till now 150 children who were run away cases from different parts of the country have been repatriated to their natives places in the States of A.P.,Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat,Karnataka, Rajastan and U.P. and restored to their
families . The country-vide network of CHILDLINE facilitates repatriation of children back to their home.

Adolescent Girls’ Development Centre

Out of 6 Contact Centres, the Centre at K.K.Marg Municipal School is running exclusively for development of adolescent girls since 1998. Currently, 80 girls in the age group 10 to 18 years are provided with various services, such as health care, nutrition, formal and non-formal education, sewing classes, fabric painting, coaching classes recreation, family life education and counseling.

Hamara Foundation: Development Initiative For Street Children

These girls belong to Pardeshi community who are migrated from Gujarat, Rajasthan and Utter Pradesh. The adolescent girls are mostly triturates and school dropouts,. Most of the girls are engaged in the family occupation of cane work and earn Rs.10/- to Rs.20/- per day. Few girls work as domestic servants. The proximity of their place to stay to the red light area of Foras road puts them in precious situation. Some girls are lured to get jobs of children of sex workers during daytime. The girls have no opportunity for free movements on streets due to harassment by people who visit the red light area. The girls are stigmatized and it is difficult for them to get opportunities for employment and suitable marriage proposals.

Considering the plight of these girls appropriate interventions for their growth and development are of great significance. The Center plays an important role in brining about development changes in their life.

Mumbai 4 Change (Project for Homeless Children)

 

Content to come...

 

List of material required for hamara club

 

List of material required for hamara club

  • Color T.V - 1 set
  • C.D player - 1 set
  • Aqua guard 1 set
  • New computer with printer -1set
  • Water filter -04
  • Godrej cupboard 03
  • Lockers-02
  • Filing cabinet -02
  • Office tables 02
  • Steel plates-200
  • Steel glasses-200
  • Cricket Kit -04 sets
  • Carom set-04 sets
  • Chess -04
  • Plastic carpets-12
  • Educational stationery 240 for 240 children’s

Volunteers required for the following activities for children of hamara foundation

  • To conduct computer classes
  • To conduct English classes
  • To conduct Yoga and meditation classes
  • To conduct sports activities
  • To conduct acting classes
  • To conduct group songs
  • To conduct music / dance
  • To conduct art and craft
  • Volunteers for CHILDLINE work For documentation


 



Contact details 

Room. No 27,
1st Floor,
Gilder Lane Municipal School,
Mumbai Central,
Mumbai – 400 008
Tel.: 2305 4108

Email : hamarafoundation@rediffmail.com

 



SUCCESS STORIES


Master Sajju Yakub aged 15 years is studying in Std. 10th in Hindi medium at Gilder lane Municipal school, Mumbai Central. He lost his parents at a tender age when he was only six years. Presently he is staying with his elder brothers at Mumbai Central Railway Station. Both brothers are working as coolies. Sujju is very active and is interested in studies. During last annual examination he obtained 68% marks and got first rank in class. Educational materials were provided to him. Regular monthly visits along with elder brother were paid to School by Field worker to discuss attendance and scholastic performance of Master Sajju. He receives educational sponsorship from National Sponsorship Council for obtaining good marks in the class.

In spite of his nothingness, hardships at the railway station and impoverished living conditions Sajju maintains a very good school performance

Hamara Foundation: Development Initiative For Street Children

Sajju Yakub

· Master Sheriful Shaikh aged 18 years came from Kolkotta to Mumbai in search of work last year. He ran away from home due to conflict with his mother. Initially he used to work as coolie and used to get Rs.40/- per day. After working hours he used to participate actively in NFE classes at Hamara Foundation. While working he realized that, by doing odd job like coolie there is no good future for him and his family. Hence he decided to join skill-training programme with regular counseling by the Filed worker and the Student of Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Efforts were made to give him “House Keeping” training in collaboration with Human Resources Department of Taj Land Ends Hotel. At present he is working at Taj Hotel as a “House Keeper” and earns about Rs.4, 000/- with all the other benefits.

Hamara Foundation: Development Initiative For Street Children

Sheriful Shaikh

 

· Deepika appeared for the SSC exam in the year 2005 – 2006 and got 52.6% marks. Now she has joined Ruia College for 11th in Arts. The medium is Hindi. She has been associated with Hamara Foundation attending the study classes very regularly from the inception of Study Class at K. K. Marg Centre. The social workers at the K.K. Marg always find time to attend the girl and her family. She always helps the family with counseling and emotional support.Her mother was not sending her for further education, as it was difficult for her to meet the expenditure though she wanted to educate her daughter. Deepika’s Aunti helped them in this crisis though she herself is in a financially difficult condition.

 



Vision


To ensure that no child should live on the street and that every child has an inherent right to dignity and respect. The organization believes in working towards creating the environment in which every child enjoys rights to survival, development, protection and participation and a happy childhood.



Mission

To work towards facilitating all round growth, development and empowerment of the street children and catalyse an overall improvement in the quality of their lives. It also aims at engaging in advocacy and taking up issue of street children and their life situation with a larger purpose of creating public awareness and work towards generating sensitivity amongst the masses regarding the growing phenomenon of street children.



Goal

To empower children on the street, so they can have alternatives for a better quality of life. Major objective includes reaching out to street and homeless children, providing them the need based services for their growth and development.

 

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