Yesterday I saw a powerful presentation on the work of Vision Rescue, helping the street kids of Mumbai. Vision Rescue’s mission is rescue, feed, and educate these children. They are given nourishing food plus lessons in reading, writing and more, all onboard a bus. Vision Rescue has an insights tour coming up and I have decided to go along, that is if they will have me. I suspect from the presentation I saw yesterday I will be wanting to bring all these children home. Needless to say my little apartment would not accommodate the entire street kid population of Mumbai. I can however raise awareness of the issue, of the importance of cherishing our children, all children, and invite you as bloggers who follow the Brave Discussion to follow along. If you feel so inclined you can also share the story of Visison Rescue. Here is today’ story:
Kolkata is one of the four major metropolitan cities in India with a population of 15.294 million people.
Children living on the streets of Kolkata are highly vulnerable to traffickers who trap the children into begging rings, criminal activities and even prostitution.
Even when the children are not trafficked, many of the children resort to antisocial and even criminal activities in order to survive.
Many of these children are addicted to drugs or alcohol by the age of 8. The average age of children on the street is 7. 80% of the girls by the age of 13 have been sexually abused or raped. As a result of their bad diet most of them have lost all of their teeth by the age of 12.
Vision Rescue has been working with street children in Mumbai since 2004. They started working with 6 children and this has expanded to providing non-formal education and food to over 1000 children each day. This program has had incredible success with between 100-200 children graduating to formal education or vocational training each year, giving them back the chance for a future.
Vision Rescue does not just address the need for and cleanliness, but the need of a sense of value. Most of the children are Dalits, the lowest caste in India and as such these children often have very little sense of self-worth or the expectation of a better life or future. Not only does this diminish any self confidence that they might have in attaining education but it also removes the purpose of education, that of attaining a better future for themselves and the next generation.
Although there is a free public school system provided in India, most of the street children have never attended due to lack of self-esteem or if they have attended they often leave from bad experiences because of their inability to keep themselves clean since they live on the streets.
As a member of the sisterhood we partner with Vision Rescue, and help address the inability of street children to remain in formal education which in the key to a future off the streets, as well as poor nutrition which results in poor health and the need just to survive from day to day.
After “school”, the children are provided with one nutritious, well balanced meal. This meal gets made in the “SISTERHOOD” kitchen which was funded through the Colour Sisterhood in 2009.
The hashtag for today’s story are #bravediscussion #visionrescue # sisterhood #mummybloggersforgood
Note: This blog was inspired by the colour sisterhood.