Mermier Bal Ashram: a ray of hope for street children

Navi Mumbai News / Mermier Bal Ashram: a ray of hope for street children

Vashi2Panvel.Com: Navi Mumbai: October 6: Young children doing odd jobs like polishing shoes, picking rags, working at small eateries, begging at the traffic signals etc., are a common sight in our city. Most of these kids have fled from their home for various reasons and live on streets. The hunger pangs lead these kids towards these weird jobs or begging,

The sad state of these kids smashes our claims of being a modern and progressive city. However, all hope is not yet lost. Non-governmental organizations like Jan Vikas Society (JVS) are trying to create a better world, fit for all children irrespective of caste, colour, creed and sex.

History

The pitiable plight of street children at Navi Mumbai instigated the JVS Secretary Fr. Francis Mulackal to set up a rehabilitation center for the less privileged street children at Koparkhairne in 1996.

Centers and its activities

From past nine years this ashram is providing vocational guidance, formal and non-formal education and holistic care to around 50 street children. “My heart used to bled by seeing the miserable plight of street children deprived of basic necessities. Around six years ago I got to know about Mermier Bal Ashram and since then I am working with them. Now I am quite content as I know that I am involved in helping the street children to become good and useful citizens rather then thieves or beggars”, says JVS volunteer Prakash Gaikwad.

JVS has established six centers at Mankhurd, Turbhe Store, Panvel, Indiranagar, Koparkhairne and Turbhe naka. The volunteers of this society are constantly working for the brighter future of socially and economically backward children.

‘Florina’ and ‘Vaduz Bal Ashram’ at Taloja and Panvel respectively, are the two units of JVS that facilitates free of cost housing, clothing, medical care along with education and entertainment to approximately 70 children. Out of that 58 are attending schools and other are undergoing variety of vocational training.

These centers also provide ‘one-time meal’ and medical care to around 250 children. To make these kids financially independent JVS imparts diverse skills such as training in printing, electronic, computers, carpentry, wielding, file making, etc.

Future plans
JVS plans to open more centers in order to provide assistance to more street children, who are still leading wretched lives.

Preeti Gupta

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