PMC to build a nest for street kids
6 Feb 2008, 0259 hrs IST,TNN
PUNE: In a unique initiative, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has undertaken a project to provide shelter to all street children in the city. The ‘Gharte’ (Nest) project will ensure that no child on the street is left without care.
If the PMC successfully implements the scheme, it will be the first civic body in the country to provide 100 per cent rehabilitation of street children.
"We will ensure that the childhood of no kid is destroyed on the streets. It is our social responsibility to look after these children. It is possible to take care of street kids whose lives are getting wasted," municipal commissioner Pravinsinh Pardeshi said while speaking to TOI.
The beneficiaries of the project will be children of single parent or no parent, children of sex workers, runaway children and children of parents who do not care for them.
"We have identified children who have nowhere to go. A meeting has been scheduled for February 9 with Rajya Sabha MP Supriya Sule and NGO representatives to discuss modalities. The PMC will be providing assistance like educational aid, food, daily needs, uniforms and medical treatment," Pardeshi said.
The municipal corporation will be providing constructed space for night shelter with all amenities, honorarium to teachers of Rs 3,000 per month for 20 children, educational aid of Rs 500 per student per annum and 100 per cent expenditure for training to project functionaries.
Three night shelters will be constructed and all the PMC schools will be made available for the same. Furniture worth Rs 30,600 will be provided to each centre, Rs 25,000 will be paid per month to project staff, including co-ordinator, warden, counsellor and helper.
Non-governmental organisations Dnyana Devi, Santulan, Eklavya Balshikshan, John Paul slum development project and Bachpan Bachao will be partners to help implement the scheme. The Karve institute of social service, Confederation of Indian Industry, Shishu Adhar and Pratham will also be contributing towards the project.
A survey was conducted by the NGOs and the PMC, which revealed that there are 394 street children aged 6-14 years who are engaged in different kind of work like selling miscellaneous goods, manual works, cleaning vehicles, serving as maid servants, boot polishing and ragpicking. Nearly 160 families stay on streets with children.
The survey found that the street children were only worried about the daily livelihood and do not bother about their health or future.
The project will also rehabilitate parents, if they are on the street or reunite street children with their parents if they are away.