Author: Salesian Missions

Publication Date: August 14, 2013

India: Restoring the Childhoods of Street Kids

An estimated 10 million children live on the streets of India. Every day, they face the horrors of rampant exploitation, forced labor, widespread substance abuse and physical violence. At the Ashalayam Rehabilitation Center in Mohanlalganj, the Salesians are restoring broken childhoods by providing comfort, love and opportunities.

At times, this work seems impossible. Yet, daily reminders underscore the importance of advocating for these desperate children.

Just recently in New Delhi, police rescued 13 children — some as young as eight years old — from a garment factory. They were forced to toil for 15 hours a day in deplorable heat and sanitary conditions, for no pay or hope of escape.

Recognizing the Salesians’ tireless and valuable work, authorities brought the rescued children to Ashalayam for support, rehabilitation and hope.

Here — along with close to 150 youth staying in the shelter — they are receiving warm beds, nutritious meals, medical care, and the chance to “just be kids” through organized games, sports, play and group excursions. Those who have never been to school are receiving intensive education in preparation for 4th or 5th grade. Older students are learning skills that can help them generate income and stay off the streets.

We are making steady progress toward improving hope for youth in India, but there is so much more to be done. As long as children face unspeakable hardships such as these, we will be there to support them — physically, socially, and spiritually — in order to provide a brighter future.

By making our mission your mission, you can help the most vulnerable children grow up free from violence and exploitation — in safe, supported environments where they can learn and develop. Thank you for whatever you can give today; your gift can save a life!

Our mission gives hope to the globe’s poorest and most vulnerable youth. What’s your mission?

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