Delhi govt launches field task force to rehabilitate homeless children

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In a bid to rehabilitate homeless children, the Kejriwal-led AAP government on Thursday has set up a field task force. The task force will focus on identifying and providing educational, financial and guardianship support to these children. The project is aimed to bring dignity into the lives of these kids and the government has earmarked a budget of 10 crores to develop a residential school. 

With the strategic support of the Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi (DDCD), the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) launched a project in collaboration with Salaam Baalak Trust and Youth Reach to deploy a dedicated field task force for rehabilitation and reintegration of children in street situations.

DDC Delhi Vice-Chairperson, Jasmine Shah said, ”By launching this taskforce, we will be able to deploy focused efforts to start providing these children with the basic amenities they deserve including education, financial support and guardianship. The task force will be rolled out in a phased manner, starting with South and South-East districts.”

Youth Reach, the funding and strategy partner of the project highlighted that “We are privileged to be a part of this project with the DCPCR to provide relief to street children and help them exercise their right to education, health and safety.”

This team will consist of caseworkers and counsellors who will be deployed district-wise and will work in close collaboration with the Child Welfare Committees (CWCs). The task force will focus on a five-pillar model of rehabilitation including (1) Education and vocational training; (2) Counselling and medical support; (3) Sponsorship; (4) Guardianship; (5) Shelter and Home for the child.

Chairperson of Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Anurag Kundu, stated, ”Streets pose a serious threat of exploitation for children who beg, sell goods and spend their days on 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 the risk of street situations.”

“We humbly request all the citizens of Delhi to join hands with us to secure the future of street children by informing the sighting of these children on our Helpline number 919311551393,” he further said.

Thousands of children live on the streets of Delhi engaging in non-formal work and begging as a means of survival. These children survive precariously in the unsafe environment of city streets and deprive of adequate and appropriate adult protection, education and health care.

To combat this and help vulnerable children develop into responsible citizens, the project aims to elevate the lives of street children. The task force will focus on identifying and providing educational, financial and guardianship support to street children. Setting up of residential schools by Delhi Government will further strengthen this project’s effort to provide street children with a safe environment immersed in learning and socio-psychological support

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