The project offers a mobile unit, the Smiling Bus, which, conveniently equipped, will visit different areas in Mumbai where homeless families live. The bus will provide health, nutrition, and basic non-formal education support. It will also help them exercise their Right to Identity.
With the aim of reaching out to street children, Mumbai Smiles Foundation will offer a mobile unit starting in 2019. The unit will visit the following city areas where these children spend the night or get together: Borivali Station, Bhandup Dumping Ground, Wadala Station, and Kamathipura.
In this mobile unit, Mumbai Smiles Foundation will provide different services. Essential medicines, as well as nutritional supplements will be provided by healthcare professionals regularly to children and their parents.
The Smiling Bus will also offer sessions on life skills and health habits.
Together with the Jump 2 Justice project the Smiling Bus will help these children exercise their Right to Identity by providing support on normalizing their legal status, and will have access to social services and resources.
In the first year, the project team will begin work in four locations in Mumbai:
Borivali Station is in northern Mumbai and is surrounded by very poor dwellings, where groups of homeless children survive. There are about 40 homeless boys and girls from different parts of the country, sleeping in stairwells, and most of them are addicted to various substances.
Bhandup Dumping Ground is a landfill, similar to Deonar (with three preschool centres), where about 200 families live in extreme poverty.
Wadala Station is another railway station where 100 families are surviving. The area is surrounded by slums together with modern buildings and fully developed areas.
Kamathipura, is the red-light area where dozens of families, with children that have to work or beg, live in the area.
In each of the areas, the project will target at least 25 street children, where support (health, nutrition, non-formal education) will be offered to 100 children. 42 life skills training sessions will also be held.
The aim is to offer 144 health check-ups covering the four areas that the bus will visit, thus reaching out to 3,312 street children and their families.
The project will also support 25 street children and their families exercise their Right to Identity, and will help them normalize their legal status, since most of them are not officially registered thereby preventing them from accessing services such as education or healthcare.