Children as young as 4 years old abuse substances such as white fluids, cannabis and tobacco as a way of escaping from the physical and mental abuse they are subject to on a daily basis. Our research showed that almost 80 per cent of street-connected children in the capital are involved in substance abuse. As a response to this shocking state of affairs we run a substance harm reduction centre in Nizamuddin and Mathura. Here, we educate approximately 150 children every year on the dangers of substance abuse and engage them in recreational activities such as art and crafts, dance and sports to distract them from their addictions. We also provide counselling and encourage a peer support system where the children support each other in tackling their addictions. After ten years of success, the project has been adopted by the Delhi Police and is implemented at Government Railway Police (GRP) premises in Nizamudin. To know more about our approach of dealing with children engaged in substance abuse, Click here
In April 2016, we initiated “Sapno Ka Aangan” to ensure well-being of street connected in the areas of Sarai Kale Khan Community, Rain Basera and the children who live under Kale Khan Flyover and Khatta near the Nizamudin Railway Station. The centre is open for all the non-school going children falling in the age group of 7 to 12 years. The centre is equipped with modern facilities, and provide a good opportunity for volunteering. Over the years, numerous children have been enrolled in formal schools, provided bridge education, nutrition and engaged in yoga, art and crafts, music, dance and so on. With support of Soni Foundation through iPartner India, CHETNA reaches out to over 200 children every year through this centre.