Salaam Baalak Trust

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Salaam Baalak Trust
Salaam Baalak Trust logo.jpg
Abbreviation SBT
Formation 1988
Type Non Governmental Organisation
Purpose Support for street children and working children
Location
Chairperson Ms. Praveen Nair
Budget Rs. 48.93 Million (2012-13)[1]
Staff 142
Volunteers 160 per year (including Indians and foreigners)
Website Salaam Baalak Trust, Delhi

Salaam Baalak Trust (SBT) is an Indian non-profit and non-governmental organization which provides support for street and working children in the inner cities of New Delhi, and Mumbai. It was established in 1988 with the proceeds from the 1988 film Salaam Bombay! directed by Mira Nair, which was about the lives and vulnerabilities of street children. [2] The name Salaam Baalak Trust translates literally as "salute the child". Programs at SBT include repatriation, providing education (formal education, informal education and open learning), basic literacy and schooling, full care facilities for the young (up to 18 years), drop-in shelters for older children, physical and mental health care, life-skills education, vocational training, sports, job placement and counselling in HIV/AIDS and TB awareness.

Today, SBT runs five 24-hour full care shelters for children, of which two are devoted to girls (Arushi and Rose Home)[3] in Delhi, thirteen contact points mostly near railway stations and a 24-hour toll-free helpline service (1098), catering to children in distress all over India, in all looking after 5,000 children every year.[4] Salaam Baalak Trust children, who have been trained in theatre, dance and puppetry, are giving performances all over the world [5]

Since 2007, SBT Delhi is running the City Walk Program, a guided tour through Paharganj and New Delhi Railway Station area. The guides are former street children from the Trust. The walk aims to sensitise participants about street life, street children and Indian society problems; and uniquely engages them in the lives of children in distress. During the Walk, the guides share their personal story of survival with the participants and show them the contact points and shelter homes SBT provides. The walk, thus, also provides an opportunity for the young people to improve their communication and marketing skills. All proceeds go directly to the Trust to enable more opportunities to be made for the children; thus the walk is 100% non-profit making. During 2012-13, under the City Walk Program, about 593 walks were conducted and 4849 people were sensitised from across the world.

In addition to the City Walk tour, SBT also offers a Heritage Walk through Old Delhi, showcasing six hidden places, including markets, havelis, and five different religions that have existed in the region since 1638. This walk acquaints tourists with all that has survived in Old Delhi since Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughal Emperor who made Delhi the capitol of his empire. The walk takes tourists on a rickshaw ride through the city and lands panoramic views of Old Delhi from a spice market rooftop. It ends in an SBT shelter home for boys to offer a glimpse into what street children have survived through.

History[edit]

SBT contact point for street children on a platform from New Delhi Railway Station

Originally established in 1988 to rehabilitate the children who appeared in the film, Salaam Bombay! (1988) in Mumbai, Salaam Baalak Trust started working in 1989, and by 2005 it had 17 centres for street child throughout India.[6]

This struck a chord with the trustees, who identified the potential in India's street children. A trust was created where young street boys and girls could feel secure and could breathe hope. In New Delhi, SBT started its operations with a staff of 3 and 25 children in the open-air balcony of the Police Station at the New Delhi Railway Station. It has now grown to employ a staff of 142, providing support services in Delhi & NCR region. SBT currently functions through 13 Contact Points/Day Care Centers and 5 Shelter Homes, which provide a holistic child development. In its 25 years of operation, it has brought about a positive change in the lives of more than 50,000 children from India and abroad. SBT also manages an emergency Child Helpline (1098), which is a toll free number to reach out to children in distress at any point of time.

Starting 1999, Family Health International (FHI), with funding from USAID, started working with the SBT, on HIV/AIDS education and prevention, while supplying, street children aged between 4 and 13 with food, medical aid, education, and essential supplies.[7][8][9] Over the years its shelters have been visited by various national and international dignitaries, including, Tony Blair and Cherie Blair (2005).[10][11]

Since 2003, it has also been working with volunteers from University College Dublin Volunteers Overseas, (UCDVO).[12] In 2006, Salaam Baalak Trust won the ‘Civil Society Award’ from the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) and UNAIDS.[13] Earlier in March, it started a guided city walk, through the areas managed by the Trust: its shelters, contact points, and areas around the New Delhi Railway Station in Paharganj, where the street children live and earn a living, doing menial jobs. The tour, guided by former street children themselves, sensitizes people about the lives of street children in Delhi, and the turnaround possible in the lives of these children, when given an opportunity.[14][15][16]


Its latest home, DMRC Children Home, built exclusively for boys, was opened in New Delhi (near Tis Hazari Metro Station) in August 2010 and provides shelter to over 100 boys. The Arushi centre at Gurgaon was opened in 2008 and provided support to around 86 girls, aged between 5 and 18.

Recently, SBT has tied up with the Central Queensland University, Australia to provide higher education to its children.

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Annual Report, Salaam Baalak Trust
  2. ^ An emotional get-together The Hindu, December 5, 2004.
  3. ^ Salaam Baalak Trust www.indianngos.com.
  4. ^ Street kids paint a restaurant Madhur Tankha, The Hindu, Delhi, Jun 30, 2005.
  5. ^ Two strings to the bow The Hindu, August 8, 2008."Journalist:“You don’t look like street kids.” The young artiste kept his cool, saying, “If you want us to dress like that, in torn clothes, we can.”
  6. ^ Salaam Baalak Trust Mercy in Her Eyes: The Films of Mira Nair, by John Kenneth Muir. Published by Hal Leonard, 2006. ISBN 1-55783-649-3, ISBN 978-1-55783-649-6. page 61.
  7. ^ Street Children and Youth Get a Chance in India "Family Health International ".
  8. ^ U.S. Official Visits Salaam Baalak Trust's Shelter for Children newdelhi.usembassy.gov. April 28, 2006.
  9. ^ U.S. Assistant Secretary Richard Boucher Visits Salaam Baalak's Shelter for Children USAID, August 5, 2006.
  10. ^ PM visits project aimed at helping poorest Indian kids www.number10.gov.uk- Prime Minister of the United Kingdom website, September 8, 2005.
  11. ^ Meeting Delhi's street children BBC News, September 7, 2005.
  12. ^ Work in Delhi University College Dublin Volunteers Overseas.
  13. ^ FHI-Supported Projects Recognized on World AIDS Day "Family Health International "., “Salaam Balaak Trust for an HIV prevention project targeting vulnerable street children and youth in Delhi”.
  14. ^ Indian Street Kids Offer Glimpse Into Their Lives With Guided Tours South Asian Women's Forum, May 22, 2006.
  15. ^ Runaway guides The Hindu, Businessline, April 6, 2007.
  16. ^ Discover a Delhi underbelly you never knew, through the eyes of child guides The Telegraph, March 12, 2007.

External links[edit]