It is estimated that over 170 million Indian children lack adequate care and protection. Many of these children are orphans, some have escaped from violent environments and some have simply got lost or separated from their parents at an early age.
The Salaam Baalak Trust (SBT) in New Delhi was set up in 1989 with a goal of providing support to street and working children. Beginning with three staff working from an open-air balcony at the railway station, today the Trust operates 10 residential centres and outreach programs, employs 97 staff and cares for over 5000 children every year. These children receive health care, counselling, education and nutrition and exposure to sports, creative activities, skill development and vocational training.
The aim of the Trust is to remove kids from the streets as soon as possible and to mainstream them back into society. The community centre houses and provides basic primary-level education to around 30 former street kids with some 24,000 children having been through the organisation in the last 24 years.
For many children, the streets were their only home until Salaam Baalak offered them a chance for a new life. Now fully trained as guides, these youngsters share their personal stories of freedom and survival as they take visitors on the ‘WALK into the street life of Delhi’.
Sponsorship from individuals, corporate sponsors and institutions enable this work to continue and in October 2011 CQUniversity signed an agreement with the Trust outlining the University's commitment to providing ongoing support through sponsorship of the ‘WALK’ and the provision of scholarships for eligible students to attend a higher education institution in India.
CQUniversity continues to support the Delhi-based SBT, providing educational and cost-of-living expenses to these former street children of India.
CQUniversity Salaam Balaak Trust Scholarships
We presently provide the funds for the tertiary education of 12 'graduates' from the community centre, enrolled in undergraduate courses ranging from Commerce, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering and Aeronautical Engineering to Cinematography, Fashion Design and Video Production. These young people left the community centre when they turned 18 (as required by the law) and now share accommodation with fellow students.