Wednesday, August 14, 2013


by BIS correspondent 


MATUNGA-MUMBAI, AUGUST 13, 2013: A half day workshop on  `Dissemination of Rapid Assessment Survey of Street Children in Mumbai  & Advocacy' was organized by the Don Bosco Research Centre (DBRC) at Tej Prasarini hall, Don Bosco Youth Services building on 10 August ,2013. The workshop was attended by 20 representatives from 11 different organisations in Mumbai. The program commenced with Dakshayani Madangopal welcoming the chief guest Prof. Sandhya Rani of TISS and thanking her for making herself available for the function, she also thanked all the representatives from various NGO's for their participation.

Dakshayani then briefed the group about the purpose of the workshop, i.e., to disseminate the outcome of the report based on the rapid assessment survey of street children (RAS) conducted in Mumbai and also to discuss advocacy  for  taking the study forward on a larger perspective. The first session was a presentation on RAS by Dr. Susan Mathew, highlighting the trends, challenges and way ahead with reference to the street children phenomenon in Mumbai.

Prof Sandhya Rani, in her speech during the second session stressed the importance of an inclusive development approach by taking into consideration the marginalized groups viz. the children, women, rural and tribal population into the development fold. Unlike in the past, interstate migration was no longer the reality in Mumbai but rural to urban migration from within Maharashtra is the ongoing phenomenon, as corroborated by the RAS study. The current Food Security Bill had its pitfalls and had certain contentious provisions. Tamil Nadu in fact had already set a role model in food security for the margin

alized even before the draft bill came into the picture, commented Prof. Rani. Every person had the right to a decent living as a citizen of this country but if the entitlements continued to be a far cry, then these rights would have no meaning. Prof Rani concluded her speech by reaffirming that children's issues and rights should be in the forefront and be given utmost importance in policies and budget allocation.

Prof. Sandhya Rani's speech was followed by a discussion on `advocacy' focusing on identifying some of the burning children's issues around which the NGOs could come together and exercise a collective voice. These topics were categorized as per the level of advocacy that they would involve- city, state and on a national level.

Some key children's issues for advocacy suggested by the participants were:




1.      Substance Addiction



2.      Quality of institutional care

Quality of institutional care


3.      Begging



4.      Child Marriage

Child Marriage

Child Marriage

5.      Child Sexual Abuse

Child Sexual Abuse

Child Sexual Abuse

6.      Child Labour

Child Labour







Missing children

There was strong support from the group to focus on Quality of institutional care for advocacy. However, the group decided that  the final call could be taken after another round of discussions and therefore it was necessary  for the group to meet once again on a convenient date in the near future, when the topic would be finalised for advocacy and  strategies devised to take the issue forward. The workshop ended with a vote of thanks by Ms. Veena Sharma.

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