Thursday, July 26, 2007

Helping Hands - Don Bosco Shelters

Children in Shelters Don Bosco(Lonavala) with Father Barnabee(on extreme right), Helping Hands members (Dr Sunita Shanbhag in middle, Prabha in front, Anjali sitting in the center, Om besides Father Barnbee, Manish at the back)

For some children the streets are where they look to find their home, their parents, their playground, their education, their health care, and their love. For others, the streets are where they work, from as early as sunrise to as late as midnight. To be street children is the plight of so many young children in the capital city of Mumbai!

Causes of Street Children
The unemployment status of many parents, peer pressure, unwillingness to submit to parental control, parental neglect, sexual abuse leading to children running away are some of the many factors leading to children being in the streets. There's an estimate of 5 Lacks children on streets of mumbai from the age of 3 to 18.

Effects of Street Life
Our social workers remind us that the negative impact of street life on children is enormous. Many street children lack basic rights such as education, family love, healthcare, good food, and safety. Other disadvantages include exposure to drugs, the risk of being knocked down by cars, harsh punishment for little offenses, the early arrival of adulthood, association with the wrong people and criminals, and loss of family ties and particularly sexual abuse by the so called dadas on streets.

Don Bosco - Wadala
In Don Bosco Homes, to be in contact with a street child means the child benefits from Don Bosco Homes programs: facilities and services. Monthly documentation figures show that Don Bosco Homes is reaching some 5000 Mumbai street children with counseling, medical attention, advocacy, feeding, legal-aid, skills training for older boys willing to do so, family reunification, literacy, academic assistance, games, and football. The children themselves run to Don Bosco Homes centers when in trouble or when they are sick.

Don Bosco - Lonavala
The Don Bosco Lonavala unit is a drug rehabilitation center for this street children. After undergoing the physical detoxification at sion hospital, this children are taken to Lonavala for mental detoxification In Lonavala they are taught values of life, health care, Yoga, to read and write, develop some skills of their own like "mechanics, tailoring etc.". After finishing the 3 months rehabilation program, children start to dream about their future and Shelters - Don Bosco tries to fulfill their dreams. Its really very pleasing to be associated with this great institute. Helping Hands is a direction to help the society in any way its possible for them. Shelters is our current direction.

From: Prashant Kirtane

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