Salaam Baalak Trust
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," says Poonam Sharma, manager of the community centre that houses and provides basic primary-level education to around 30 former street kids.
Ms Sharma says that 24,000 children have 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. In October 2011 CQUniversity signed an agreement with the Trust outlining the University's commitment to provide ongoing support through sponsorship of the "WALK" and the provision of scholarships for eligible students to attend a higher education institution in India. http://www.salaambaalaktrust.com/
Following a program initiated by Vice-Chancellor Scott Bowman, the University provides funding to the Delhi-based Salaam Baalak Trust to provide for the educational and cost-of-living expenses for former street children of India.
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Read 'Life Changing Trust' excerpt from BE Magazine.