CHETNA

We are a grass-roots Indian NGO working for the empowerment of Street and Working Children in Delhi and neighboring states. We believe that children are not on the street by choice, but because they are left with no other alternative.

Street and Working Children are just as much a part of this country as any other individual. We are dedicated to ensuring they receive their rights and are treated equally by our society. We have 13 years of experience working alongside these children attempting to break the vicious cycle of poverty and get them access to their basic human rights of protection, education, healthcare, participation and opportunities for a livelihood.

The role and participation of children is central to the work of CHETNA and has shaped us into a truly child-centred organisation. It is our firm belief that children are the protagonists and staff the catalysts for change.

Residential Workshops
New Delhi
India

Every year we hold various residential workshops with the primary focus of enhancing the child participants’ understanding of their own situations, how they developed and what they imply for the future. At these events the children undertake various activities such as group work, each session drawing on the previous ones; ice-breakers and games; role plays, drawing, singing and dancing; sports, and leisure activities such as watching movies together.

The final goal of the workshops is to prompt a visible change in the participants’ lives, be it reunion with their families, shifting to an NGO-run shelter home, or at least reducing their consumption of addictive and harmful substances. Despite the difficult circumstances the children come from and how it affects their abilities to partake in exercises requiring focus and attention, our desired outcomes of the workshops are reached to a great extent.

Balaknama
New Delhi
I

After their formation Badhte Kadam quickly realized there was a need to give a voice to Street and Working Children. They wanted to bring their issues and concerns, so often neglected by society, to the forefront of the public agenda.

Their response to this was the world renowned Balaknama, the worlds first newspaper made for street and working children by street and working children. The first edition of Balaknama was published in the year 2003 in Hindi. Today it is published bi-monthly in both Hindi and English with over 4,000 copies of each issue distributed.

Badhte Kadam
New Delhi
India

Badhte Kadam, which translates into English as “Stepping Forward”, is a unique federation of Street and Working Children we helped found in 2002. It was established to empower Street and Working Children, joining them together to have a collective voice and fight for their rights. Since then Badhte Kadam has gone from strength to strength spreading across seven districts in North India and with over 10,000 members, achieving both national and international recognition for its campaigns for child rights.