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Don Bosco Balprafulta is a Salesian response to the desperate situation of marginalized children in the city of Mumbai. Involved with promoting Child Rights since 2000, Don Bosco Balprafulta focuses upon enabling children to procure their rights through state and civil participation.

Although 'The Shelter' and 'Bosco Boys' Home catered to several hundred youngsters, the city of Mumbai still had a very large number of youngsters in need of care and protection. It was felt that setting up an institution would always limit the number of deprived children that could be helped. So the question arose why not go to the streets instead of bringing children into the institution? Why not go into places where children are neglected and exploited, use the mechanisms of the state, and thus reach out to a larger group of children? Thus the idea of Don Bosco Balprafulta started taking shape. In the year 2000, Fr. Godfrey D'sa, a member of the Don Bosco Society developed the idea further with the help of Fr. Adolph Furtado and a few other collaborators. The idea was to give momentum to the concept of 'child rights' to develop a unique approach which incorporated the developmental approach' along with a 'rights based approach'. The focus remained on marginalized, exploited, vulnerable children but for the first time, an attempt was made to deal with them using a non institutional approach.

The organization carried forward its work with the Helpline for children. In April 2000, the 24 hour Childline service for children in distress was set up at Don Bosco Balprafulta. It covered an area from Bandra to Bhayander in Mumbai. Immediate action was taken on receiving distress calls from children. After years of working with Childline, Don Bosco Balprafulta moved on to other projects in December 2007. The Don Bosco Balprafulta - Childline experience served to bring the organization into direct contact with children.

Within two years of its association with Child line, Don Bosco Balprafulta saw that many children went missing. Here began the program of tracing children or Talaash in 2002. A number of cases of runaway children were brought to the notice of the organization, which then decided to start the Talaash project at railway terminals.

Along with the work at the railway station, Don Bosco Balprafulta started its work with the children in communities. The idea was to start an initiative that worked on the preventive aspect. We believed that by working in communities with families and children, the violation of child rights could be prevented.

In 2004, Rihaee started from the experiences of Talaash and the community initiative. The organisation came across a number of children working for a living. They were child labourers. This phenomenon was widespread in Mumbai. The organization then decided that rescuing children from exploitative situations was the need of the hour. Over the years, Don Bosco Balprafulta has carried out several rescue operations and rescued thousands of children from exploitative situations.

SURYA PROJECT - "SURYA" is a non-profit organization formed by the Executive MBA students - Cohort-9) of St. Mary's College, Moraga. CA. (USA)

A group of students had visited Don BoscoBalprafulta in the year 2013-14 and noticed the situation of children on the streets, railway station and in the Observation Home run by the Government in Mumbai and decided to do something for them. They felt the need of sending the children back home rather than sending them to Observation Homes. They emphasized the need of sending the children home or to good shelter homes. The process begins.....

  • Contacting the child from railway station
  • Admitting the child in children's home
  • Follow up of the child in children's home
  • Address tracing & contacting the parents
  • Home visit/need identify
  • Rehabilitation process
  • Intense follow up

The Surya Project began in June 2015.....

Ashiana (Home ) - The Ashiana Project began in July 2015. Our experience of working with young and vulnerable children has shown that street children form a high risk group that is susceptible to fall into substance abuse trap. A survey was conducted by Saksham team to assess the level of risk of youth engaging in drug abuse. It was important to measure the nature and extend of drug abuse patterns and trends and collect data on the risk and protective factors in the community. It was found that 40% of the children were victims of substance abuse and that the menace of substance use was unbridled and unaddressed.

To help these children wean off addition, Ashiana project was initiated. The goal of this programme was to build new and strengthen existing protective factors and reverse or reduce modifiable risk factors in youth. For the pilot study, Project Ashiana team called reported abusers to the de-addiction centre and engaged them in different recreational activities such as games, dance and sports. About 60 percent of young street children are consuming one or other form of drugs. These addicted children cannot be kept in the Residential Home with the other children; they need a special residential home for their care, treatment and rehabilitation. Hence there was an urgent need felt to address this problem of addiction among young street children so that they become respectable citizens. Project Ashiana is a comprehensive programme targeted at providing care, Treatment and rehabilitation of young drug addicts on streets.

  • To reach out to young drug addict children in Mumbai.
  • To enhance efforts to encourage children to give up their addiction to substances
  • To provide the children with opportunities for psychological couselling and treatment and to undertake their long-term follow up
  • To provide comprehensive detoxification facilities to the children.
  • To enable street drug addicts to rebuild their lives through therapeutic processes, provision of vocation skills and education.

Project Ashiana is located in Antop Hill, Wadala, Mumbai, implemented by Don Bosco Balprafulta in association with Sion hospital and Maria Ashiana. Don Bosco Balprafulta and Sion Hospital are located in Mumbai while Maria Ashaina is located in Lonavala, Pune. Young people below 18 years of age would be send to Maria Ashiana, Lonavla and those above 18 years of age would be send to Jeevandhara, Khandala for treatment of substance abuse.

Process Cycle: The following are the various phases involved in the project.

Phase 1 : Outreach & Rapport Building
Phase 2 : Counseling & Orientation
Phase 3 : Outreach & Rapport Building
Phase 4 : Rehabilitation
Phase 5 : After Care Follow Up

Today Don Bosco Balprafulta has emerged as a leading child rights organization looking at the holistic development of children. It reaches out to a vast section of children through various programs and initiatives.

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