Mumbai Smiles helps impoverished children from Govandi get proper education and nutrition
While April 12 is recognised as the International Day of Street Children by development organizations, we at Mumbai Smiles Foundation would like to express our commitment towards rehabilitation of street children all through the year.
Mumbai’s street children undergo several hardships. Two out of five are victims of verbal, physical, and sexual abuse. Fifteen per cent of these children are addicted to some form of substance ranging from tobacco, drugs, and even glue.
Mumbai Smiles Foundation focuses its work on street children living in Govandi, one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Mumbai; next to the Deonar landfill, the largest and oldest landfill in India with thousands of metric tonnes of waste every day from all over the city. Many families live here in inhuman conditions. Their health conditions are painful: the un-healthiness of the environment; the long hours of work; the high temperatures; and the toxic gases released by the garbage cause respiratory diseases (it is one of the areas with the highest incidence of tuberculosis in Asia), gastrointestinal diseases, anemia and skin infection.
Mumbai Smiles is working towards providing proper education and nutrition for the children living here. As part of this programme, children under 6 years of age are provided with education, nutritional contributions and routine health checks. Those over 6 years of age can attend school thanks to the Access to School project in partnership with private school Shivajirao Shendge.
Also, in order to serve the thousands of children who live on the streets in other areas of the city, we will be launching the Smiling Bus – a mobile unit that will travel the city to offer them the support they need.