Our Story

CHETNA was registered as a public charitable trust in Delhi, India, to start its vital work on child empowerment on 8th March 2002. When literally translated from Hindi, CHETNA means “creating awareness” and stands for “Childhood Enhancement through Training and Action”.

We strongly believe in the active participation of children, and thus started working with them from 2002 to address key child rights issues such as survival, protection, development and participation.

CHETNA has grown to become a pioneering organisation in raising child protection issues with a team of experienced social workers and professionals. Some members of our team were themselves street connected children, who, with the help of CHETNA have worked their way to a better life and are now resolute towards transforming other similar lives.

Since the beginning, the CHETNA team and children have worked together to tailor a range of programs and activities to fit their needs. At CHETNA we live our values, so participation underpins our whole organisation in the form of Badhte Kadam- a unique federation of street connected children. Badhte Kadam run their own fully operational newsletter called Balaknama; the first of its kind in the world.

On 12th April 2013, Badhte Kadam made its way into the Limca Book of Records by putting approximately 9,000 hand prints on a white cloth in less than twelve-and-a-half minutes at Bal Bhavan in Delhi, with an aim of increasing visibility of street-connected children under the theme “we too exist”.

On 12th April 2016, Balaknama was awarded by the Limca Book of Records as the first Hindi newsletter brought out by street children.