Though Trivandrum Don Bosco Veedu Society’s primary focus is on the children at risk of Trivandrum city and its premises, our ultimate aim is to create a child friendly atmosphere in the wider Society of Kerala. We had conducted a survey on street involved children in and around Trivandrum city in order to find the number of children on the streets, assess their primary needs in order to influence policy decisions in taking care of them. The funds for conducting the survey was provided by the Social Justice Department, Govt of Kerala. Others involved were Don Bosco National forum for Young at Risk (YaR) and Don Bosco Research Centre, Mumbai.
The rapid assessment survey of street involved children was conducted in 100 wards of Trivandrum Corporation. We found that:
- The total number of children found on street was limited to 140.
- The study shows that majority of the children were with families and not orphaned or abandoned - 44% children were staying with parents, 20% with relatives and 13% with single mothers.
- There were almost zero cases under run away or abandoned among the children found on streets.
The findings were very positive and it mirrored the effectiveness of our interventions on behalf of street children for over past 22 years. The survey conducted by us in 1994 showed the presence of over 2000 children on the streets. Child begging cases have dipped drastically to almost zero percentage. This phenomenal statics has been achieved through years of sensitization process. We can say that we have contained the problem of street children in Trivandrum.
Presently any child who reaches the city is taken in by us. The general public are sensitive and over 90 percent reporting to our helpline facilitates us to rescue children immediately and provide them shelter in our shelter home. The child rescue booth at the railway station brings in an average of over 200 children who reach to the city through trains.
The Social Justice Department, Government of Kerala, asked us for a presentation of the results of the survey and our major suggestion to provide for railway rescue booths and shelter homes in big cities of Kerala has been accepted by the Government. Three major stations (Ernakulum, Kozhikode, and Palakkad) have been selected for the same.
We are contended that care and protection to more children on the streets across Kerala have been effected through our intervention.
|Rapid Assessment Survey of Street Children|