The Delhi Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) and Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi have decided to deploy a dedicated task force for the rehabilitation and reintegration of children living on the streets of the national capital.
They are launching the project in collaboration with Salaam Baalak Trust and Youth Reach with an aim to “identify and provide educational, financial and guardianship support to street children”, many of whom are engaged in informal work and begging on the streets.
The task force will consist of caseworkers and counsellors, who will be deployed in each district, and will be working closely with the respective Child Welfare Committees. The project will be rolled out in a phased manner and will begin with the South and South-East districts.
“Streets pose a serious threat of exploitation for children who beg, sell goods and spend their days at the red light junctions and in busy markets. Children deserve to be in school and have a safe place to sleep. With the launch of this project, the Early Warning System and DCPCR’s 24×7 emergency helpline, the Commission is launching a comprehensive mechanism for identification, prevention and relief for children at risk of street situations. With these interventions, we are confident that we will be able to provide education, health and safety to all the children who are at risk of exploitation in Delhi,” said DCPCR chairperson Anurag Kundu.
According to Kundu, the task force will focus on a “five-pillar model of rehabilitation” focusing on educational and vocational training; counselling and medical support; sponsorship; guardianship; and shelter and home.
This announcement comes a few days after the Delhi government announced a proposal for a boarding school for homeless children in its budget last week. Setting aside Rs. 10 crore for this, the idea behind that too is to give children in street situations a stable environment to access education and “bring them into the mainstream of society”.