Nearly 20,000 street children have been identified in India till now and are under process for rehabilitating, the Chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Priyank Kanoongo, said. He mentioned 'Bal Swaraj', a web portal for street children in India, where their information can be uploaded and they can be tracked. This would ensure a seamless process for the rehabilitation of the children. However, he agreed that several state governments were not working towards identifying and rehabilitating street children.
Different Types Amongst Street Children
While explaining the categories of street children in India, Kanoongo said, "Among the street children, we found three types of children — first who ran away from their homes or have been abandoned and are living on the streets alone; second those who are staying with their families in streets and their whole family hassles on the streets; and the third category is those who live in nearby slums, so in the day time, they are on streets, and at night, they go to their homes", The Indian Express reported. Moreover, he also estimated that nearly 15-20 lakh children are on the streets in the country.
Major Reasons For Children To Land Up On The Streets
The apex child rights body had chalked a six-stage end-to-end rehabilitation plan for the children. The Observer Research Foundation put forth a detailed analysis of how children in India work and live on the streets. In 2000, UNICEF had mentioned that approximately 18 million children live on the streets in India. Economic crisis and extreme poverty, abandonment, and dysfunctional families are common push factors of creating more street children.
Hence, street children are a result of a combination of factors. Unemployment, poverty, violence at home, family disintegration, lack of shelter, rural-urban migration, displacement due to floods, drought, or any other calamity are some of the primary reasons for the growing menace of social exclusion within societies with high inequalities.
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