Things to know
- UNICEF has defined three types of street children – street living, street
working and children of street living families. The first category comprises
of the children who live alone on the streets, the second category includes
children who spend most of their time working on streets to provide income
for their families or themselves and the last category includes children who
live with their families on street.
- Street children are the most vulnerable group amongst children.
- It is estimated that mostly street children are concentrated in metros and
- UNICEF has estimated that approximately 11 million street children live in
India and 100,000 in Delhi alone (Railway India).
- Gang leaders usually recruit the new children to the street gangs. These may
be older street children or adults.
- The children may be taught to pickpocket and the girls may be targeted by
the pimps. The children are also vulnerable to be coerced into drug peddling
and other organized crime.
- The children in the gang are exposed to sexual and physical exploitation.
- Gang rivalry is common where the children of a certain gang are not allowed
to visit the areas demarcated for other gangs.
- These gangs comprises of migrant and local street children.
Relevant government initiatives
Integrated program for
street children was introduced in May 2007 and was valid up to December 2008.
The aim of the program was to prevent children from living a life on the
streets. The program focused on provision of shelter, nutrition, health care,
sanitation and hygiene, safe drinking water, education and recreational
facilities and protection against abuse and exploitation to destitute and
neglected street children.
"Rajiv Gandhi National Crèche Scheme for the
children of working mother" has been launched by the Ministry of Women and Child
Development providing crèche services for children between age group 0 to 6
years. The services include emergency medicines, supplementary nutrition etc.
What should I do when I see a street child?
- Contact the juvenile/child welfare officer in the local police station or
Special Juvenile Police Unit (previously known as JAPU).
- Contact child line on1098, a toll free 24x7 working and provide details
about the child, employer and place for child line to intervene or report a
child online by providing details on
- The concerned person should produce the child before the Child Welfare
- Juvenile Justice Act
- Ministry of Women and Child Development, "National Report on World Fit for
Children" Ministry of Women and Child Development , 2007