Kolkata is a city jam-packed with a population of over 15 million. People from all walks of life are drawn towards the city which is surrounded by some of the most underprivileged areas in the sub-continent.
The majority of Cities around the world are affected by crime to varying degrees and Kolkata is no different. Most at risk in the city are the homeless children who are spread over almost all of the 141 municipal wards and come from many different backgrounds and almost every community. Most are forced onto the streets through a combination of economic hardship and broken homes.
Many street children have withstood abuse at the hands of their parents or other adults. During the day street children roam the streets trying to earn a living doing various kinds of work including rag picking, sorting plastic bottles out of rubbish dumps and begging. At night and in the early hours many can be found sleeping in the main railway stations of Kolkata - Howrah and Sealdah.
Some of the street children, though destitute, remain with their families on the streets which offer some protection. Many children sleep alone and vulnerable on the station platforms and surrounding areas. These children are of immediate concern for they are alone, noticeably thinner and more unkempt than the others. Many are ill, all are vulnerable and most are exposed to serious forms of exploitation.
It is these children that this charity helps by directly funding local organisations such as the Loreto Orphanages which provide a home, care and education for these children. The scale of the problem should not be underestimated and while the local organisations are doing everything they can more funds are desperately required to take more children off the streets and help to protect them and provide hope for their future.