Care and Protection of Street Children

Project Planning
:  The concept for the project was conceived by the organization, because it was felt that nothing much has been yet done to cover the street children under any program targeted towards prevention of HIV/AIDS. The executive body of the organization in a resolution had opted for a project for the street children and the group already working on HIV/AIDS did the necessary planning. Project will cover approximately 5000 street children. There is significant industrial development in the city, and the city has witnessed both the positive and negative effects of such development. Approximately 60% of the population are below poverty line and the number of street children has increased to a great extent. These children are either the offspring’s of the shelter less people or ran away from home. There are approximately 10000 street children at Guwahati. They live in railway stations, Public Parks, temple premises and on footpath. The police, municipality and public often harass them. Most of them are non-starter at school. Their knowledge and concern about HIV/AIDS is almost nil. They very frequently become the victims of sexual abuse and are vulnerable to become infected with HIV. There are number of projects targeted towards prevention of HIV/ AIDS, but there is no project so far has been implemented for prevention of HIV/AIDS among street children. Approximately 90% street children above ten years of age are addicted to the use of some form of psychotropic substances. The project will also include the adult shelter less population in its awareness-generating   program.  The   street children targeted per year will be 5000.

Identification of Needs: (Why this project is relevant)
  • The street children are considered as vulnerable group
  • The message for prevention of HIV/ AIDS does not reach this section. It is due to their illiteracy and indifferent attitude.
  • The psyche of the section is to remain aloof in regard to hygiene and health.
  • The group is also vulnerable for sexual exploitation. There is widespread belief in the country that having sex with virgin girl can cure some sexually transmitted diseases and the defenseless street children become the easy target for such sexual exploitation.
  •  The men with homosexual behavior easily target the street children for sexual exploitation.
  • The street children are having no defense to protest against such sexual abuse.
  • It was found that almost 90% of children are addicted to varieties of psychotropic drugs. Many of them are regular intravenous drug user and few of them are shadow user.
  • Street children are often the offspring of the shelter less. The shelter less   generally have multiple partners are engaged in unprotected sex.   They are not at all concerned about HIV/ AIDS. This section need immediate attention in relation to HIV/AIDS.
Reduce transmission of HIV/ AIDS among street children.  Formulate innovative modalities to be replicated in future.

Immediate Objectives:

  • Prevention of new infection.
  • Enhance the knowledge about HIV/AIDS among street children.
  • Reduction of STD, HIV/ AIDS among street children.
  • Reduction of sexual exploitation of children.
  • Reduce sexual abuse of the children to less than 5%.

Proposed activities; For 5000 beneficiaries:-
  • Drop in centers;-The organization is putting effort to have Drop –in-Center for street children at Guwahati where the activities will be targeted towards this category of children.  Knowledge about STI/HIV/AIDS will be disseminated among the beneficiaries through trained personnel. There will provision for training and non-formal education for future rehabilitation. Efforts will be made to achieve hundred percent immunizations for this unfortunate section of children. Recreational facilities will be provided in the drop-in centers. Reward will be given to the deserving children. Three such centers will be established at areas where the street children are concentrated. A medical officer will visit each such center thrice in a week. Counseling will be provided to these children every day.
  • Night Shelter: Night shelter will be provided to deserving girl street children.    Night shelter will protect these children from sexual exploitation. Provision of meal will be there in such shelters.
  • Health Clinic: Health clinic will be established in vulnerable areas where street children can avail medical attention. Five such clinics will be established and the medical officer will attend each center once in a week. All sexually transmitted diseases and other ailments will be dealt with. Awareness regarding HIV/ AIDS will be generated among street children and the shelter less. Counseling will also be done in these clinics.
  •  Counseling: The trained counselors will provide Counseling service. Through appropriate approach there will be behavioral changes in adopting low risk behavior and assisting them to emerge out as responsible adult
  •  Drug de addiction: Drug dead diction will be done through counseling and therapy at the drop-in center and health center.
  • Awareness campaign: Regular awareness generation campaign will be conducted to raise awareness among street children and shelter less. Innovative methods like Drama. Play. Quiz etc will be organized based on interest of the section of street children.
  • Net working:  Networking will be done with both governmental and non-Governmental organizations, opinion leaders and other stakeholders.
  • Monitoring: Each activity of the project will be monitored by using suitable indicators. Any shortcoming will be immediately dealt with.