We pity the children whom we see begging on the roadside, selling flowers, fruits, toys, ballons etc. and have no idea how they survive. Why they do what they do. Is it due to poverty and social and economic condition which have forced these kids to do what they are doing.
Some of it could be out of compulsion and some of it being forced to do.
Here is a story of few children who were uplifted from streets by the NGOs and once their purpose was solved of gaining sympathy and raising funds. They were left behind and the concerned organisations are not to be seen around. The very media which bought these NGOs to limelight are the ones who have also helped the kids in their journey and the mission is to get the slum kids to schools to integrate them into mainstream society.
When there is a will there is a way, and the invisible forces help to turn dream into reality.
Voice of Slum is one of those extraordinary organizations who have taken the responsibility to change the life of hundreds of kids. Kids who have never seen the face of school, kids who have to work at a young age to quench their hunger, kids who have no life if we don’t show them a path.
Children from slums are not aware of how education can bring a dramatic transformation in their life. Being a helping hand to their family, they don’t get encouraged for stepping out of the slums. So the challenge includes not only teaching these young minds but also teaching their parents and guardians to let their young ones find an opportunity to learn. The ones who want to study, even they don’t get a chance because of the responsibilities they are burdened with at young age. Child marriage is still practiced in places close to the capital of India and no one gets to know about it. Another big challenge that we face is of drug addiction and being in wrong company that eventually leads slum kids into practices like drug peddling, stealing and robbery.
Chandni has been working since the age of 5 yrs performing street magic and as the fate would have it her father expired. Left with no option but to help in family for survival started rag picking, selling flowers at traffic signal to setting up street side corn shop and so on. During this period she was spotted by an NGO which was working for the education of street children and then transformation began from being a leader at the district level to growing to the national level directly impacting the life of 10,000 kids from four stated.
Rising from reporter to editor of the magazine Balaknama from the age of 8yrs to the age of 18 yrs and giving Ted talks to winning Karamveer Award for leading street children to be part of mainstream society.
Dev was 11 yrs old who was staying at railway station and was addicted to psychotropic substance. The transformation began for Rs. 200/-per month alongwith food at a restaurant as a Dishwasher. Had a will to learn and would ask customers the English translation of Hindi words to understand and indirectly supplementing his income.
Voice of Slum is a thought process which is helping the kids integrate with the mainstream society. NGO’s made money by utilising the photographs of the kids but the kids are at the same place.
The core team members are working as office boys, courier boys, housekeeping staff and they work for street children.
There are centres in the slum where these kids assemble and they are taken to places such as McDonalds, Theme Parks, Mall and so on to understand the good life and they are told that they can also have this life for themselves.
To enjoy this life you have to study and then these kids are set in the process to get them into the mainstream society through studies and kids above the age of 18 yrs are provided vocational training and job placements.
With social media such as facebook, they are being recognised. A call for help to execute an activity and fundraising for the program to sustain the activity of the kids are being heard and the very media has become their friend to get this cause further.