By Pankhuri Gaur
Mumbai: On July 12th, the Minister for the State Women and Child Development Department, Mangal Prabhat Lodha, representing the Government of Maharashtra, made an official announcement regarding the launch of a child-friendly squad in Mumbai. This initiative has been introduced as a pilot project under the government's jurisdiction.
The primary objective of this project is to establish six mobile squads that will cover different areas of Mumbai. Each squad will be equipped with a van, a caretaker, a counsellor, and a teacher. The core purpose behind the formation of these squads is to rescue children who find themselves living on the streets. The squads will provide them with crucial counselling services and facilitate their admission into non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or local schools. Furthermore, these squads will ensure that the rescued children receive proper meals and play a significant role in their rehabilitation.
This project, expected to be operational for six months, has been allocated a budget of ₹75 lakhs by the State Women and Child Development Department. The government envisions the assimilation of these street children into mainstream society by providing them with access to quality education. The successful implementation of this pilot project will serve as a foundation for its future expansion into other cities, extending the reach and impact of this initiative.
The launch of the child-friendly squad in Mumbai addresses a critical need to support and uplift street children in the region.
Protection and Rescue
Children on the streets are amongst the most vulnerable groups in the country. They are often at risk of being exposed to abuse, exploitation, and violence. Such a squad aims to rescue these children from harsh living conditions and provide them with a safe and secure environment.
Many street children face emotional trauma and require counselling services to address their psychological well-being. The presence of dedicated counsellors within the squads ensures that these children receive the necessary support and guidance to overcome their past experiences and integrate into society successfully.
Unfortunately, formal education, a fundamental right, is unavailable to street children, often hindering their overall development and prospects. By including teachers in the squads, the initiative ensures that these children receive educational opportunities.
Moreover, by connecting them with NGOs and local schools, the squads offer these children a chance to break free from the cycle of homelessness and poverty, providing them a pathway towards a better future.
By addressing their immediate needs and offering long-term solutions, this initiative strives to positively impact the lives of these vulnerable children, enabling them to lead a fulfilling life.
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