NGO helps street children save money
13 Apr 2008, 0413 hrs IST,Swati Shinde,TNN
PUNE: Mujib Sayyed, a 20-year-old youth, ran away from home when he was but a child. He did little jobs here and there in the city. Later, he joined a technical institute and then moved to St Vincent’s night school. But, he ran away from there too and made Pune railway station his home. He now does seasonal business at the station and earns a fair amount of money. The sole aim behind his endeavours is to marry off his younger sister, and such was his determination that, within two years, Mujib has saved Rs 42,000 in the ‘Bal Bank’, a unique initiative undertaken by city-based NGO Sarva Seva Sangh (SSS).
According to Father Mathew Nirppel, director of SSS, "Our primary aim is to inculcate a sense of saving money among street children, who, otherwise, end up wasting whatever little they earn on gambling or drugs."
"The project, which began only a couple of months ago during a rehabilitation camp, has evoked a positive response. Within two months, 50-odd children have been able to save Rs 12,000 with the bank," Sunita Minj, a senior social worker, said.
"These youngsters spend their hard-earned money on frivolous activities. Our bank, on the other hand, keeps the money safe for their future. There is a purpose and cause behind our effort, which also promotes a sense of responsibility. We help the youngsters focus on a goal, an aim for which they can save money — which could be anything, from starting a business to buying a small house," Minj said.