India has recently seen impressive economic growth. However, poverty and injustice, often tied to gender and class, are cruel realities for millions of women and children.
The framework of the Indian Constitution provides the necessary means for the protection, development and welfare of children.
Children are the most vulnerable group
Yet children are a particularly vulnerable group. Notably, almost half of the children in the country suffer from malnutrition. A high number of children do not enjoy the right to an adequate standard of living, such as access to clean drinking water, acceptable housing conditions and latrines. Access to school and health care is limited. Despite a scheme launched four years ago to provide universal education, about 60 million children do not attend primary school.
12 million Indian children work
Around 18 million children live and work on India’s urban streets. The country has more street children than anywhere else in the world. The problem of harmful child labor is well recognized. More than 12 million Indian children work, many of them in hazardous labor. India is also considered to be a source, destination, and transit country for children who are trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation.
There are about 500,000 child prostitutes in the country, and concern is expressed that the programs for the physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of child victims of sexual abuse and exploitation remain insufficient and inadequate.
Only 1% of children with disabilities have access to school
Only 1% of children with disabilities have access to school and one third of most disabilities are preventable. Providing expecting mothers better pre and postnatal care as well as proper nutrition for infants and mothers would help a lot. Undernutrition is a severe problem with children. In India 80% of children with disabilities will not survive the age of 40. Furthermore, orphans and mentally and physically challenged children are at particular risk to abuse and violence. Many of them live on the streets.
Sika supports shelter for mentally and physically disabled children
In order to provide assistance for mentally and physically disabled children in India, Sika supports "Samrakshana" (=shelter, give shelter, protect), the home for orphans and disabled people in the state of Telanga, Medak district, in the southern part of west-India. Samrakshana was founded in 2013 by Joseph Vattaparambil and Brigitte Born.
During 9 years (2006 - 2014) Joseph and Brigitte have established the home for disabled children in Karunalaya and the Akshalashala School. In April 2014 the responsibility for the home and the school was taken over by the congregation Bethany. By that time Brigitte and Joseph started to build up "Samrakshana". The home has already been built and 30 children found a new home.
Construction of a water tank secures water availability
The projects will be supported by Sika via the Swiss citizen Brigitte Born, who manages her projects in Karunalaya since 2007 and spends every third month on-site working there. Sika supports the following projects: Construction of a water tank - the provision of water is guaranteed by a water tank, a water pipeline and two pumps.
Furthermore the Sika support concentrates on the construction of an orphan's home in the community of Dondhi, Telanga. Street children unfortunately belong to the daily life in India. "Samrakshana" was founded to give complete orphans a home. Here the children experience sympathy, love and warmth. They obtain healthy nutrition, medical care if needed and are schooled properly and get professional training.