It is estimated that there are nearly 4 million children living on the streets in India. It is estimated that there are 314,700 street children in cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Kanpur, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. Around 100,000 children live on the streets of Delhi alone.
According to Child Line India, 40 percent of India’s street children are between 11-15 years of age, making them vulnerable to an array of issues including malnutrition and abuse.
To help these children obtain an identity for their future and move ahead in life, the Women and Child Development Minister of India, Maneka Gandhi has recently announced that children living on streets will soon be issued birth certificates and Aadhaar cards.
Ms Gandhi has also announced a new initiative called the e-box, which is an online complaints box where children can register complaints in an anonymous way against any form of abuse. “Principals should talk about this in schools and street children too should be taught to send in their complaints,” she said, as reported by The Hindu.
Ms Gandhi was speaking in Chennai at a function organised by the Dayaa Foundation, an NGO that works towards the rescue and rehabilitation of street children. She also met members from civil society organisations and held discussions on the draft of the newly proposed Human Trafficking Bill, where 21 NGOs and representatives from the Tamil Nadu government participated.
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