The Children Sponsorship Project
The fragmented nature of research that surrounds abandoned and destitute street children across the world is proof of the inability of national and international agencies to ensure that every child enjoys a childhood. In 1996, the United Nations Children’s Fund estimated that 11 million children lived on the streets in India, while other groups put the number as high as 18 million. More recently, the Justice Verma Committee reported that more than 60,000 children in India are being abandoned every year and that most of these cases go unnoticed. Children without parental care are at high risk of being exposed to abuse, exploitation and neglect which can socially, physically and emotionally impair them. Most often, these children find shelter on the streets and disappear into oblivion.
The Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation supports the Bal Asha Trust by providing medical and nutritional aid for children at the Home. In addition, the Foundation also supports the Children Sponsorship Project that identifies and cares for ten children with severe developmental and physical disabilities.
With the support of the Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation, the Bal Asha Trust is able to provide counselling and medical care to children who suffer from medical and developmental problems. It has enabled the Trust to arrange for the services of a paediatrician, an occupational therapist, a speech therapist, two psychologists, nurses and caretakers. The Home was also able to tie-up with private and government hospitals which offer excellent medical services to the children at the Home.
The Bal Asha Trust is a not-for-profit, professionally managed, social-work organisation that has been working in the field of Women and Child Development for the last 27 years in Mumbai. A recipient of the prestigious ‘Punyasholk Ahilyabai Holkar Puruskar’ by the Government of Maharashtra, the Trust has been working towards providing quality care to abandoned and destitute children.
The Bal Asha Trust instituted a Home for children who are abandoned, destitute or have been relinquished by their birth-parents. This Home has room for 70 children and has been able to rehabilitate more than 1250 children since its inception. The Trust is licensed by both the central and state governments to carry out rehabilitation programmes for abandoned and destitute children.