Night Shelters

1995: Street Kids Build Their Own Night Shelter In Bombay
The Night Shelters
The Magic Bus
Bringing Up Fathers!
Dealing with Death

location of the shelter

Sadak Chaap began constructing Night Shelters, using space under the stairways of pedestrian over-bridges. SPARC helped the kids to get sanctions and find funding.

1995: Street Kids Build Their Own Night Shelter In Bombay

The reality is that the children will not go home. Hence the challenge lies in ensuring that they do not harm either themselves or others; that they are healthy; that they are capable of being social productive and that they can undertake economic activities.
We must accommodate the child's need to discover his identity without allowing the process to destroy the child or the social support around him.
We must ensure that governments do not forget this child or put him in situations that compels him to run away.
We must create workable solutions.
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The night shelters:
A safe place for young street boys is provided to about 300 boys in several places. The night shelter in Churchgate has 70-150, Byculla has 30-45, Mulund has 8-15 and 3-4 older street boys each. The numbers are tentative because that is the real situation the children decide if they want to come, they choose where to stay and each night shelter has a "character" emerging.
So all boys who want to go to regular school live in Mulund, those who want to hang around occasionally go to Dadar, those who want to become like NSDF and Mahila Milan live in Byculla, and others who are all or any in Churchgate.
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Churchgate shelter

The centre is a place which is their own. The ethos and The energy in every centre is determined by the boys themselves. It is a space where they can be themselves and it gives them the necessary security that they do not find on the streets. Since they define the function of the centre -every centre has its own character

Food is planned, groceries purchased food cooked and served. All sick are cared for or taken to hospital, for those who want to go to night school arrangements are made, and those who can't decide have the right to explore.

Creating "rituals" about how things get done look a long time. Children rebelled against what they did not like, but rarely know what they wanted. So many possibilities were explored. Although this process takes time and incredible patience, it quickly yields results once the rituals are in place.

The kids themselves then train new comers and manage rituals. The Sadak Chaap Melas are now almost completely managed by the experienced and older street boys.

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