Education  India Project #21871

Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children

by Salaam Baalak Trust
Play Video
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Salaam Baalak Trust - working for street children
Ration Distribution Drive 
Shahnaaz Begum is a 39 yr. old mother of 7 children and a ragpicker by profession. In the year 2017, her husband died after being bed ridden for a year.

As she copes with the loss of her partner, Shahnaaz and her children ( 3 daughters and 4 sons) have to come to terms with living on the streets. Living without a safe haven, attracts its share of mishaps too. One of Shahnaaz’s sons is suffering from burn injuries on his stomach as he had firecrackers thrown at him. None of the 7 children have received formal education. After the family came in contact with SBT, the children have been attending non-formal education at the Parveen Contact Point situated at Paharganj.

Shahnaaz recalls the horror of hunger as her family was on the verge of starvation on the unfamiliar streets, until she received rations. Her youngest son, who is 4 years old has undergone a successful heart surgery at AIIMS. As he recuperates, constant medical assistance and medication is still needed. At SBT, we are reaching out to our pool of supporters to once again come forward and help us help this young life.
 No. of Families supported- 1234
 
 My battle against COVID - 19
 (By a child living in one of our residential programmes)
 

When I first heard about Coronavirus spreading in Delhi, I wasn’t really scared that much as I thought it was just for a few months. I believed that everything will be alright soon but the virus soon spread all over India, and taking lives of so many people. The thought of catching the virus scared me but I kept taking care of myself. The other older girls in our children’s home helped take care of not only themselves but they also helped us in this difficult situation. They showed the news on TV every day so that we understood about the dangers of the virus. The daily increase in number of people affected by the virus made us aware about the immense suffering due to the pandemic.

One day, I felt sick and told the medical social worker, who immediately took me to the doctor. I told the doctor about my condition and he asked me to undergo a Covid-19 test. I was very nervous, but luckily the result was negative. I was fine for a few days but then I started feeling sick again. I was asked to undergo another Covid-19 test and again it was negative. But the fever came back again and this time the report was positive. I started crying when I came to know that I was Covid positive, I felt really scared and my head was full of weird thoughts. When the staff admitted me into a COVID speciality hospital, I refused to stay alone, and insisted that they take me back home with her. She patiently explained that there were so many other children in the home who could be at risk because of me. I also knew that the other children would want to meet me and they would not listen even if they were asked to stay away from me. My sister gave me a mobile phone to call her or the SBT staff in case I needed something.

I felt really helpless and my head was full of weird and scary thoughts. The thing that upset me the most was the fact that I was the first one in the shelter home to get this deadly virus. I didn't feel like eating anything and just kept sobbing all the time and waited for the next morning. I kept thinking I wouldn’t be alive by the next morning. I had no idea what was going to happen to me the only thought that came to my mind was that I might die like all the other people who I had heard of or seen on TV.

At some point I fell asleep and woke up the next morning, I was given the breakfast first then the ‘kadha’ and later some medicine. I felt a little better and then all the children from the home called to ask about my health and whether I had had my medicine and lunch. They kept asking me to take good care of myself and to not take any unnecessary tension. Their chatter cheered me up and I felt more positive. They told me that whenever I needed something I could call them and they would send it to me. I looked forward to these calls.

A week passed and everything was going smoothly I had fallen into a pattern. The hospital staff was taking good care of me and the other patients. Then suddenly my situation worsened but I didn’t tell the doctor because I wanted to go home. I kept calling my sister and told her that I wanted to come back to home but she told me that I could not be allowed home before I had recovered fully so I used to start crying and beg her to just come and take me back home. I felt like no one cared for me and I was all alone.

I was ill but I would not tell the doctor because I desperately wanted to go home. The doctor realized that I was not okay when she checked my parameters and she scolded me for hiding it from her. She said that if I didn't take care of myself, eat the food and medicines timely then she would not allow me to go home. Suddenly I don't know how I just decided that I was going to get ok! And it was like I started feeling a bit better from that minute, the doctor used to make sure that I was taking my medicines and food on time. She took extra care of me since I was the youngest patient in the hospital at the moment and no one was there to take care of me.

 
 No. of Covid Positive Children-   87
No. of Covid Positive Staff-  51 
 
 
 Off to the US ! 

Ejaz, who is originally from Bihar, ran away from his home because his father wanted him to become a Maulvi (priest in a mosque), just like him. Ejaz wasn’t interested in such a life. Tired of his father's beatings, he hopped onto a train which landed him at New Delhi Railway Station. Ejaz survived by working in a shop selling locks, near the Station. One day he met a man who told him about an NGO, Don Bosco Ashalayam. He went there and felt very happy. His father came to know where he was and he took him back home after staying there for 4 years. He was again forced to follow his father’s footsteps. It was only a matter of time when he left his home again and was back on the streets of New Delhi.

In 2012, Ejaz met a social worker of Salaam Baalak Trust, who told him about the organization and the facilities provided. He started living at Apna Ghar Open Shelter and actively participated in all the activities there. He made many new friends and started liking the place. He joined the City Walk programme in 2013 because he wanted to improve his English communication skills. Ejaz quickly learned the ropes and became a confident young boy. He also interned in a travel agency and completed his graduation. Ejaz had keen interest in Graphic Designing and wished to make a career in the same field. As they say hard work pays off – Ejaz has just been accepted to participate with full scholarship in the US Department of States’ Community College Initiative (CCI) Program. Under this wonderful opportunity, Ejaz will study graphic design in Snow College, Utah. As we send this letter to you, we are busy fitting him out with appropriate clothes and suitcase and the many exciting things needed to help him start a big chapter of his life!

 
 
 Increase in Child Rescues 
The pandemic has had an adverse economic effect on those already on the margins of eking out a sustainable livelihood. As a result, more and more children are falling into the pit of child and bonded labour. Ever since the easing of lock down norms and the starting of trains, our teams have seen an obvious increase in the number of children reaching railway stations and bus stops. Some of them are herded by child traffickers while others have simply run away to try and find some food or employment.

The Central Childline (1098, a national child toll free helpline) services run by SBT recued 30 children between the age of 8-16 years of age from Kashmiri gate bus stop after they received a tip off that these children were being taken to Punjab from Bihar to be employed at factories.

Sunil (name changed), 15, shared with the Childline team that it was not by choice that he was going to work in Punjab but just that his family was in dire need of money as at the moment the situation was such that they could not afford even 2 meals a day.

All the rescued children were sent to children’s home and are being counselled. The staff is trying to contact their parents. The process of compensation from the concerned authority has been started.

 
 
World Autism Awareness Day- 2nd April 2021
 
Have you ever found somebody’s way of looking at things so unique, you almost want to enter their minds? For us at SBT, while each child is special, children with special needs are the most endearing. They share their world with us with such honesty that it is difficult not to be a part of their adventures. We believe that children must grow in an inclusive environment where the environment accommodates all differences.

For example, a fish is in perfect harmony in water and cannot survive on land- it is considered normal for a fish to swim; in fact, anyone who swims effortlessly is compared to a fish. But we cannot judge or discriminate the fish if we do not provide the adequate aquatic environment. Thus, through trainings and sensitization workshops, we strive consciously to ensure that no child is marginalized on basis of development milestones.

Autism is one such lifelong condition, where the child’s perspective and journey do not collide with set normative standards of development. It is commonly associated with high sensitivity to touch, light or noise. It is interesting to note that the definition of autism has evolved with the society- from extreme autistic aloneness in 1943 to childhood schizophrenia in 1960s when even mothers were held responsible for being cold and unemotional themselves, to pervasive developmental disorder in the 70s. It was only in 1980s that things began to change and by early 2000s we had discovered autism as a wide range of characteristics very different from each other. That’s when the word ‘spectrum’ was coined to fully acknowledge and understand its diversity.

This Autism week we made our children at SBT aware that the autistic condition by its nature is not one of incapacity or disability but simply one of profound sensitivity in the most positive sense which given an encouraging environment could lead to a flourishing life.

 
 No. of Children with

Environment Day at our girls shelter home
  
from the diary of Shweta Pathak, Teacher/ SBT

Its 10:00, and like always I look forward to a busy day at Udaan. Dealing with a bunch of curious, inquisitive girls is always challenging and exciting. Today was a special date which dictated the theme for the day -Environment Day.

As my girls finally settled down, I choose the topic of ‘water conservation’ over everything else. My choice was of course met with some bored, disinterested looks. This was a topic they had often discussed right from their sixth grade, be it talking of water harvesting techniques in geography, water conservation in science or sustainable living in economics they had had a fair idea of it all.
But the idea was to see how much of what was in books was actually put to practice. More than just celebrating World Environment Day, we needed to see our application. To start with, we as a class identified some situations around us where we or our friends were wasting water and the alternatives, we had to stop it.

Discussion on its implementation within SBT
We could use the kitchen water for watering plants. We have started this.
Our water storage tank overflows so we have started storing that water and use for washing or bathing.
Instead of using a pipe to clean the open area we mop it and a pipe wash is restricted to once a month.
Taking long showers is again avoided by fixing bathing time for each child

Story session -precious water and its uses
This discussion was followed by a small story on the preciousness of water and they unanimously agreed on the importance of it, especially remembering occasions when in the middle of their bath the water runs out!

Activity
Finally, we wrapped up our session with a small activity of ‘leak hunt’, wherein all the girls were given a task to find the taps leaking in the home and everyone who turned off a tap properly was rewarded. This proved an interesting and fun activity
.
 
 
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

Salaam Baalak Trust’s residential centres are 24*7 programmes which provide shelter (long- term and/ or short-term) and a package of childcare services based on continuum of care approachtochildrenrescuedfromthestreets.Theservicesincludemedicalcare,foodand nutrition (three hot cooked meals and evening nutrition), psychological support, education, vocational training, job placement, restoration and rehabilitation. The centres also provide sports and latent talent development opportunities for all round development of children. These residential centres are recognized and licensed under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme(ICPS)andtheJuvenileJusticeAct,2015.Theadmissionandcareplanofeachchildis made under the guidance of respective Child Welfare Committees(CWCs).

SBT Residential Centres& Contact points–An overview of workdone in past 6 months

 Salaam Baalak Trust has 7 residential centresand 10 Contact points for children from street and vulnerable situations. The centres have the basic infrastructure –classrooms, play area, computer lab and dormitories. Each centre has a team of trained and compassionate caregivers who work towards the holistic development of the children residing in these homes.For contact points our social and outreach workers strive hard to build bonds of trusts and friendship with children  motivating them to attend our programs at our Contact Points where they have access to education, medical assistance, a healthy meal, life skills and the opportunity of realizing their full potential..

 Nutrition:

 To meet the nutritional needs of children, nutritionally-balanced and hot-cooked meals are served at residential. The meals are prepared in the kitchen space provided at the centre under the supervision of staff members to ensure safe and hygienic practices. In some cases, children have special nutritional requirements due to illness such as tuberculosis and malnutrition. Such children are provided with special nutrition including protein supplements, additional servings of fruits and milk as prescribed by the doctor. During pandemic Protein rich diet is provided to all the children which includes eggs, chicken, paneer on regular basis. Hot water and lemon tea are given regularly  also made part of diet to build immunity.

 Education:

 Education is integral to any child’s development and hence all the children residing in the homes are connected with education either through formal, non-formal or open school of learning depending on the strength of the child. Since last year  most classes were online due to ongoing  Covid19  Pandemic, only  few of our children started attending school  lately and most stayed indoors.Online classes were challenging  as we  were not having ample smartphones or computers and internet availability was making it difficult to conduct.

 Volunteers:

 By mid of 2020, regular volunteering started at various children’s homes. Children were happy to learn from new people and share their knowledge but as soon as the number of cases started going up in Delhi. We have to shift volunteering back to online/virtual mode just like during Lockdown in 2020

Medical Care:

 

Children on the streets live in unsanitary conditions and are prone to various infections and diseases. Therefore, regular medical check-ups of the children are done at the full care residential centres. Whenever required, pathological tests are conducted as per the recommendation of the doctors. We have a full-time doctor employed with SBT solely for this purpose.. Post Covid-19 first wave all children were monitored regularly and with the advent of second wave close montitoring of all children is happening at each centre.If we talk about the current scenario 110 of our children and staff are ill right now, primarily in the residential care homes. Most of them are moving towards getting better but this has increased from 17 sick children just 10 days ago, and the number affected in the outreach centers will be much higher. Due to the Pandemic, there are limited opportunities for children to be constructively engaged There was a surge in mental health concerns of children and staff since the movement and the daily routine has been disturbed. Also shortage of medicines and antibiotics is ahuge concern,

 Mental Health:

 

Full-timementalhealthprofessionals appointedin thecentreprovides psychologicalsupportand counseling tochildren.Thementalhealthand psychologicalsupporthelpschildrenrescuedfromthestreetsgetovertheirtraumaticpast. There are a team of 9 psychologists with a senior Psychiatrist who work towards the management plan of children having psychological difficulties as pandemic is a crucial time for the  mental health of children.

 

Ration Distribution:

Thepandemic,alongwithunexpecteddifculties created opportunities for us to

help and reach out to more people and needycommunities.Our primary work has always been with street children but in the wake of the pandemic, we felt compelledto  help  adults  who  lived  in  the  communities these children came from and other migrants, struggling to survive due to the lockdown and the loss of livelihood. The SBT team did an initial survey to ascertain the needs of large groups at different geographical areas of Delhi, to develop a concrete plan for providing support. With the generous support from donors and sponsors, SBT, after a thorough analysis, provided ration and fresh vegetables to people residing in the slums of Seelampur, Kishanganj, Mansarovar, Shastri Park, Salem Garh, Yamuna Bazar, Mithai Pull, Connaught Place andGhaziabad.

Our team also sensitized people about the virus and the precautions they needed totake.

 Staff duty roster:

 Initially, only few staff members could come to work and this led to classes being irregular. Younger children are particularly being affected due to the lockdowns as its difficult for them to comprehend the scenario.After that everything started getting back to normal but again sudden surge in cases and lockdown affected staff members also and like the first lockdown we have to create roasters if weekly duties at our children’s homes

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

 Introduction 

In the 1980s, the making of Mira Nair's ’Salaam Bombay’ (award winning film) revealed the dark underbelly of Mumbai's streets, where several childhoods were at stake. A combination of socio-economic exigencies, political circumstances and parent's struggle for survival created a large population of children, living and working on the streets of India.

SBT provides a comprehensive package of services through its child helpline, contact points and residential centres. Salaam Baalak Trust (SBT) started out as a day care centre for street children. Over a period of time, we realised that a safe space is the most critical need for any child to realise his/her own full potential. Thus, we started residential programmes to provide safe child friendly shelter for children rescued from street situations and any other distress situations.

Compliant with guidelines of Integrated Child Protection Scheme and Juvenile Justice Act 2015, we have two Children Home for Girls, two Children's Home for Boys and three Open Shelters for boys to provide 24*7 care and protection services.

 The Trust also has a vision of ensuring access of street children to high quality services ranging from health, nutrition, education, vocational training, restoration and reuniting children with the families to job placement.

                                      

 Key Activities at Apna Ghar

ApnaGhar is an open shelter for boys with a capacity of 50 children. It is located in the Paharganj area of New Delhi which has a high concentration of street children, child beggars and runaways. The home provides short stay facilities to children between the age group of 6-18 years who are rescued from difficult circumstances with a view to reunite them with their families and/ or linking them to long term care.The children living in the shelter get their own beds, clothes and hygiene kits. They spend their day according to a set routine living with other children. The following services are provided in the home-

Food and Nutrition: Besides serving the prime purpose of providing a ‘safe living space’ to children, children’s homes offer a comprehensive package of services including food and nutrition. Children at the homes are provided three hot-cooked, nutritious and well-balanced meals. Evening and special nutrition is provided to children suffering from malnutrition and under nutrition upon recommendation of the doctor.The menu is prepared in consultation with children so that the food of their choice can be

included. It is taken care that each meal has a nutritional value and is a blend of proteins, carbohydrate and fibre and at the same time is appealing to the children. During the pandemic ,many children were unable to go back to their families and in order to keep them healthy they were provided with extra nutrition to boost their immunity. The total no of children benefitedwere 80 for the specified period.

Education: Education of children is given utmost importance at all the children homes. Children whether coming for short stay or long stay are exposed to and involved in educational activities. Given the differential learning needs of children, education is imparted through formal, informal and open schooling. In-house classes are conducted by SBT teachers in a play-way and participatory manner keeping in mind the interest of the child. In a short stay home more focus is alsoto equally work on the functional life skills of children.

During the reporting period, 25 children were linked to formal school, 52 children with non-formal school and 3 with open schooling from July to December.

Efforts were made to connect children with academics virtually so that they don’t miss out on their homework and classes.The team at the centre swiftly upgraded the infrastructure and created a computer lab with good bandwidth and sufficient computers. This helped children to keep pace with their school curriculum and be engaged.

Teacher training programme was also started to help them hone their skills to adapt to the new technology process. It empowered the teachers with the first hand understanding of how online classes are conducted and how to best design online lessons for children.

 

Medical Care: The social medical worker organises regular check-ups and vaccination camps of children. SBT’s in-house doctors conduct these check-ups and camps. Additionally, dental, eye and ear-nose and throat (ENT) check-ups are also conducted at the centres.80 children were provided with the medical care.

During the lockdown, the doctor visited once a week for the check-up of all children. Hygiene kits comprising of sanitizers, soaps, masks were provided to all the children. Multivitamins were also provided so that children do not fall sick.The medical social workers took regular sessions with the children about maintaining hygiene.

Strict protocols were put in place to prevent any infection and the spread of virus.

 

Mental Health and Psychological Support: Children coming from street situations need intensive therapy as they have been exposed to all forms of abuse and have traumatic history making them more vulnerable to mental health concerns. There is a full-time appointed counsellor in the home who takes regular one on one and group sessions with all the children.

In the past 6 months, the focus was on anger issues, stress reduction as children felt irritated and anxious due to the pandemic .

 

The team at Apna Ghar had been staying at the home 24*7 to take care of the children as there was restriction on daily movement. Regular staff support sessions were arranged for the staff by trained Psychologists so that there were fewer instances of burnout and fear due to the scenario.

 

Vocational Training and Job Placement: Children who are above 16 and/or have completed Class 10 are linked to a wide range of vocational training courses. A career counsellor matches children’s skill sets and interest with suitable courses. Based on counsellor’s recommendation children join vocational courses of their choice. Children at SBTchildren’s homes often opt for computer, travel and tourism, fashion designing, beauty culture and hotel management courses. Upon completion of their vocational training courses children are also assisted in finding gainful employment. The centre teams help children in applying for jobs. 5 children were linked with vocational trainings such as baking, photography .

 

Restoration and Rehabilitation: Those children who are missing or run away from their homes often long for their families. The centre team makes effort to reunite the children with their families after a thorough analysis of the situation of the family. Children who can’t be sent back to their families due to various issues are transferred to a long term children home.

32 children during the reporting period wererestoredback to their family .Restoration work had been slow in the past few months as there were restrictions on the movement.

 

Art and Recreation-: Over the past 32 years, the approach has always been to rely on the never-say-die spirit of the children. The engagement of children in various forms of art has been important. 

"Art has always been a fundamental at Salaam Baalak, whether visual, performance or cinematic”. There are numerous stories of children responding to the arts in miraculous ways, including wishing to go back home, abandoning drugs, making friends, getting encouraged to discuss their lives, finding their homes, and most of the times, finding themselves. The 'catharsis' happens here on different levels. Many of the children have gone on to become successful choreographers, photographers, puppeteers, actors, and their capacity to earn money as well as respect in the society as artists is great.

Due to the pandemic, children could not go for their creative classes as planned but efforts were made to link them with music, theatre and art classes virtually. Many volunteers took these sessions and it also helped children to cope with the lockdown stress and fear.

 

Challenges

  • NewchallengesemergedduetoCOVID-19pandemic.Movementofstaffwasrestricted for some time duringthisperiod and there was staff shortage initially.
  • Due to the lockdown, many children experienced mood swings and other psychological issues which were then addressed by the counselor.

Future Plan

SBT team plans to start proactive work on restoration of children since many children got stuck due to the pandemic and were eager to reunite with their families.

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

Introduction-

Salaam Baalak Trust’s residential centres are 24*7 programmes which provide shelter (long- term and/ or short-term) and a package of childcare services based on continuum of care approachtochildrenrescuedfromthestreets.Theseservicesincludemedicalcare,foodand nutrition (three hot cooked meals and evening nutrition), psychological support, education, vocational training, job placement, restoration and rehabilitation. The centres also provide sports and latent talent development opportunities for all round development of children. These residential centres are recognized and licensed under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme(ICPS)andtheJuvenileJusticeAct,2015.Theadmissionandcareplanofeachchildis made under the guidance of respective Child Welfare Committees(CWCs).

 

SBT Residential Centres

SBT has 7 residential centres for children from street and vulnerable situations. The centres have the basic infrastructure –classrooms, play area, computer lab and dormitories. Each centre has a team of trained and compassionate caregivers who work towards the holistic development of the children residing in these homes.

 

Brief overview of the centres-

Aasra

Boys

Aasra was the first shelter home started by SBT. With a capacity of 50 it caters to boys of five to 18 years. It is an inclusive set up where children with disabilities  and typically developing children reside together.

Apna Ghar

Boys

It is a short stay centre, where 40 children come and stay for short duration and then they are either restored or transferred  in a long

stay home. The home was set under the JJ Act, 2000.

DMRC

Boys

DMRCChildren’sHomewasestablishedaspartofDelhiMetro Rail  Corporation’s  corporate   social  responsibility.  The  home

houses 125 boys from the age of five to below 18 years.

Old Delhi Railway Station (ODRS) Open Shelter

Boys

ODRS open shelter is an open centre catering to 30 boys. It is a short stay centre, where children come stay short duration and then they areeitherrestoredorpostedinalongstayhome.Thehomewas

set under the JJ Act, 2000.

Arushi

Girls

Arushi was first girls’ shelter home under SBT. It is an initiative to offer 24 hour shelter to 50 girls between the ages of five years to18 years living on the streets.

Udaan

Girls

Udaan was started in the year 2010. It started with eight girls and currently shelters 80 girls at a time.

 

 

 

Key Activities and Progress Update-

 

Residential Care

 A safe space is the most critical need for any child to realise his/her own full potential. Thus, we started residential programmes to provide safe child friendly shelter for children rescued from street situations and any other distress situations. Children residing in these homes have a sense of belonging and call it their own home.

 

 

 Nutrition

To meet the nutritional needs of children, nutritionally-balanced and hot-cooked meals are served at residential . The meals are prepared in the kitchen space provided at the centre under the supervision of staff members to ensure safe and hygienic practices. In some cases, children have special nutritional requirements due to illness such as tuberculosis and malnutrition. Such children are provided with special nutrition including protein supplements, additional servings of fruits and milk as prescribed by the doctor.

 

 

Education

Education is integral to any child’s development and hence all the children residing in the homes are connected with education either through formal, non-formal or Open school of learning depending on the strength of the child. Each centre has an in-house teacher who helps the children with their home work and also teaches the children who are studying through open learning.

 

 

 

Medical Care

Children on the streets live in unsanitary conditions and are prone to various infections and diseases. Therefore, regular medical check-ups of the children are done at the full care residential centres. Individual health cards are maintained for each child. Whenever required, pathological tests are conducted as per the recommendation of the doctors. We have a full-time doctor employed with SBT solely for this purpose. Apart from that we also invite external doctors or get our children treated by specialists at hospitals.

 

Mental Health-

Full-timementalhealthprofessionalappointedin thecentreprovidespsychologicalsupportandcounsellingtochildren.Thementalhealthand psychologicalsupporthelpschildrenrescuedfromthestreetsgetovertheirtraumaticpast. There is a team of 9 psychologists with a senior Psychiatrist who work towards the management plan of children having psychological difficulties.

 

Vocational Training and Job Placement -

Children who are above 16 and/or have completed Class10arelinkedtoawiderangeofvocationaltrainingcourses.Acareercounsellormatches children’sskillsetsandinterestwithsuitablecourses.Basedoncounsellor’srecommendation children join vocational courses of their choice. Children at SBT centres often opt for computer, travel and tourism, fashion designing, beauty culture and hotel management courses. Upon completion of their vocational training courses children are also assisted in finding gainful employment. The centre teams help children in applying forjobs.

 

 

Restoration and Rehabilitation: Those children who are missing or run away from their homes often long for their families. The centre teams in conjunction with the CHILDLINE and police make efforts to find homes and families of these children and reunite them with their parents .

 

For those children who live in the residential centres till they turn 18, a proper rehabilitation plan is drawn. These young adults are not only linked to jobs butarealsosupportedinfindinganewaccommodationandareprovidedbasicnecessitiesto start a life such as bedding utensils and financial assistance for buying groceries and pay rent for up to three months. Rehabilitation is SBT’s carefully planned attempt to reintegrate the children back into societies as productive adults and responsiblecitizens.

 

A snapshot of services provided by the residential centres from January – June 2020 has been presented in the Table below.

 

 

Activities

Number of Children

Shelter Provided

819 children

Restoration

370 children

Education (Formal Schooling)

150 children

Open Schooling

28 children

Non-Formal Education

529 children

Food and Nutrition

809 children

Health Check Up

761 children

Skill Development and Vocational Training

25 children

Job Placement

12 children

Rehabilitation

08 children

 

 

Challenges

  • Due to the Pandemic, there are limited opportunities for children to be constructively engaged There was a surge in mental health concerns of children and staff since the movement and the daily routine has been disturbed.

 

  • Initially, only few staff members could come to work and this led to classes being irregular. Younger children are particularly being affected due to the lockdowns as its difficult for them to comprehend the scenario.

 

 

 

Achievements-

  • Due to the pandemic, many communities were affected and were without food and basic amenities. Our outreach workers helped over 10,000 families with ration and hygiene kits.

 

  •  We were also successful in finding jobs for 11 of our alumni’s who lost their jobs due to the current scenario . Alumni’s are being provided emotional and financial support where needed.
  • 9 children from S.BT. have cleared their 10th exams with First Division.
  • 3 children cleared their 12th class exams. Two of them got more than 90 percent in the best of 4.

 

 

Future Plan:

  • The effort is to keep all the children in the homes safe during the pandemic and at the same time to work towards their physical and mental health.
  • SBT is also working to upgrade the digital infrastructure at each home so that the children don’t miss out on the academic front.
  • Mental health team is working proactively with both the children and the staff and will increase the number of life skill sessions.

 

Story of change -

Sana (Name changed) belongs to Delhi and came to S.B.T. when she was 8 years old. Her mother had a tumultuous history of personal relationships and violence and her father had abandoned the family. The mother had no means to support her children and so she put them in our children home.

During initial phases of her stay in the children home, Sana had a tough time adjusting with other children. She often became anxious, angry, had mood swings and did not get along well with others. The team handledherwithcompassionandlove and worked on her strengths. She started doing well in academics and was quite sincere and her caliber was noticed.

She soon got a sponsor to support her education at The Lawrence School,Sanawar. This year she completed her 12th boards with 96 percent. She aspires to be a lawyer and is working hard to get through the top institutes of India.


Attachments: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

Introduction and Background
Salaam Baalak Trust (SBT) has been working to protect the rights of children living in difficult circumstances for more than three decades. Placing the child’s interest first, SBT strives to provide a package of all-inclusive and quality services to children rescued from streets. These services comprise health, education, nutrition and vocational training. Given the hostile circumstances in which these children live, they often experience psychological trauma and violence which leaves them emotionally frail. Thus, mental health programme forms the pivot of SBT’s care and protection services. Running successfully for more than 18 years, SBT’s mental health programme is solely driven to help rescued children overcome their traumatic past and enable them live freely and happily in their present.
To set children on a path of holistic development, it is extremely critical to help them constructively get over the abuse, exploitation and trauma they face on streets and difficult circumstances. This transformation requires patience, perseverance, sensitivity and specialised skills to engage with children and help them express their suppressed pain and negative emotions and experience. To deliver these specialised services, SBT’s qualified and highly skilled mental health team works passionately and dedicatedly. The team under the leadership of Dr. Amit Sen (one of the leading psychiatrists in India) comprises a mental health coordinator and a team of trained counsellors. A counselor is posted at every centre of SBT to provide mental health services to children viz., counseling and individual and group therapies. SBT’s mental health programme is recognised as one of its kind given its child-centric nature and focus on professional and trained care.
The programme is continuously evolving to meet the ever changing needs of children in general and those rescued from difficult circumstances in particular. Laying thrust on equality, the mental health programme began providing services for inclusion of children with disabilities who are rescued from difficult circumstances. These children are extremely marginalised and highly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. Thus, they face the double brunt of living in perilous situations and inability to raise their voice against violence and abuse being meted out to them. To this end, in the year 2015 the mental health programme expanded its scope by initiating Child Development Unit (CDU) to cater to the needs of children with neuro-developmental difficulties.The CDU is based at Aasra Children’s Home located in Najafgarh, Delhi. It adopts an integrative approach whereby the children (boys) with neurodevelopmental difficulties and in need of additional support are provided shelter along with care and protection services.

Key Objectives of CDU
CDU’s vision is to provide children with neuro-developmental difficulties a safe, nurturing environment. It also aims to protect these children from abuse and ensure early screening of their difficulties and provide timely intervention. CDU further attempts to provide 24x7 special care and emotional support to these children. The Unit operates on the ‘principle of equality and inclusion’ wherein children with mental disabilities live with typically developing children (those meeting age-appropriate development milestones) to foster peer interaction and learning. The key objectives of CDU are as follows.
1. To mainstream children with neuro-developmental difficulties and disorders by provision of inclusive services in Aasra Children’s Home.
2. To enable these children, learn basic activities of daily living (ADL) and communication skills to express and deal with their individual needs.
Target Group
As indicated earlier, CDU caters to children with mild intellectual difficulties and other neuro-developmental difficulties. Due to limited resources, the CDU houses maximum of 10 boys below 13 years at any given point of time.
Key Activities and Processes
CDU Team: CDU team includes skilled developmental therapist, supervisor and three caretakers. The supervisor oversees the administrative work, while the therapist conducts a wide range of therapeutic sessions with the children and the care takers provide food and nutrition, health and other services to children. The CDU team specifically caretakers are trained at regular intervals to improve their work performance and efficiency.
Screening and Early Diagnosis: All children coming to Aasra Children’s Home are screened using a baseline assessment interview at the first point of contact and if mental health concerns are observed then a more comprehensive assessment is conducted. This assessment is carefully done by the counselor. This assessment is critical for early diagnosis and screening of children with neuro-developmental difficulties. Following this, a focused discussion is conducted with the psychiatrist to confirm the diagnosis and ascertain if the child matches the CDU admission criteria. Upon meeting the criteria, the child is admitted to the CDU.
Provision of Holistic Services: The key services provided to children enrolled in at the CDU for their holistic development are as follows.
Therapies: Most of the children at CDU need various therapies such as sensory integration, occupational therapy and speech therapy. These therapies are provided to the children through a well-known psychiatric organisation called Children First. SBT is making efforts to provide this service in-house by constituting an inter-disciplinary team. Steps are being taken to build the team’s capacities to deliver various kinds of therapies. Apart from the specialised therapies, regular therapeutic sessions are also conducted by the therapist.
Education: Pliable educational services are provided to children keeping in mind their existing knowledge, skills and intellectual capacities. Individual education plan is prepared for each child and adhered to. Play-way and joyful methods of teaching and learning are used. Each child is given individual attention to engage them in a meaningful learning process. The CDU childrenalso being provided special education.
Special care and emotional support: A number of services are provided to children by care takers and therapist on a continued basis. Caution is taken to meet children’s emotional needs adequately so that they adjust well in the Children’s Home. These children are under constant care and supervision.
Pharmacology: Many children who need medicines are provided the same as prescribed by the psychiatrist. Medicines along with therapies show tangible improvements in children within a short span of time.
ADL (Activity of daily Living) skills training: This is an important area of intervention with children. The therapist and care takers help children learn ADL skills to make the more self-reliant. While training when children pick up ADL skills, they feel a sense of confidence and independence and show improvement in many aspects of their life.
Occupational therapy: Children are provided occupational therapy at both Children First and Aasra. The therapy helps them actively participate in activities at children’s home and other social situations. It also instills a sense of independence among children and prepares them for learning other skills.
Speech therapy: To support children with speech impairment, speech therapy is also provided. This improves children’s communication skills. Various techniques are used to enhance their communication in a conventional way. Through speech therapy children learn to express themselves well.Key Challenges
Uncertainties and restrictions due to COVID-19: The global outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in many restrictions and unprecedented changes on the lives of people. In these uncertain times, people across the world are grappling with mental health concerns. One of the worst affected groups include children and youth. The same is true for children with disabilities. They are experiencing the negative effects of lockdown as schools and therapy centres are closed. The children are confined to the CDU which has a huge impact on the education and learning needs of children with disabilities. While social distancing has been widely promoted as a key strategy to avoid transmission, but the same is not possible to strictly adhere for care takers for children with special needs who often require assistance for their daily tasks. In addition, while children may not be at a high risk of contracting COVID-19 those with disability may fall into the category of “high risk“ due to their pre-existing health conditions. During this pandemic, the centre psychologist (CDU Therapist) is also not able to visit centre to avoid transmission regularly. However, to stay connected and the centre psychologist is in regular touch with care giver and children.
Other challenges: Apart from above, the other challenges beingfaced by CDU include,
• Rehabilitation of CDU children is a big challenge as some of them are going to turn 16 soon.
• Lack of multidisciplinary team to meet the special needs of the children in context to different areas of development
• High attrition rate of CDU therapist
Stories of Change
D*15 years old came to the CDU two years ago from some other children’s home. The child was diagnosed with learning and intellectual disability. At that time the child was less active and was lacking social skills. While D was capable of self-care but was unable to express himself or needs. He had limited desire to engage socially or participate in social interaction and remain aloof. His speech abilities were present but he had limited vocabulary. The CDU team helped D to acclimatize to the environment of Aasra Home. D was then enrolled in Holy Heart Special School for his academic and intellectual development. He was simultaneously provided regular therapy sessions, special care and emotional support by the caretakers. These multifaceted efforts resulted in visible improvements in D. For instance D has now, started to speak with verbal prompts and his vocabulary has expanded. He also takes part in all activities of the Home with interest and enjoys all the group activities. It has been observed that with support of care taker now D also helps CDU team in daily activities of the Home. His cognitive functioning has also improved. The team now plans to continue these activities so that they can become more self-reliant and confident.

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Salaam Baalak Trust

Location: New Delhi, Delhi - India
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Tanya Alag
New Delhi, Delhi India
$57,007 raised of $70,000 goal
 
607 donations
$12,993 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Salaam Baalak Trust has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.