BOMBAY TEEN CHALLENGE CHILDREN’S SHELTER
Rural poverty and domestic abuse has forced thousands of children onto the streets to fend for themselves, exposing the children to disease, hunger, and exploitation.
Others are the children of women working in the brothels of Asia’s largest red light district, Kamathipura. Living in the brothels located in Mumbai, India, they are vulnerable to various forms of abuse. In addition, the children are present in the room when clients visit and are often drugged to keep them from full awareness of what is happening.
Without intervention, these children will fall victim to abuse, will not attend school, and will essentially be deprived of not only a childhood but basic human needs of nutrition, education, healthcare, and opportunity. A cycle of poverty and prostitution will continue.
Bombay Teen Challenge (BTC) began in 1990 when founder and executive director, K. K. Devaraj, came to Mumbai with a passion to reach the young generation that was ensnared in drugs, gangs, and prostitution. Today, BTC is one of the largest non-government organizations working in the field of health and education.
In 2008, Devaraj was the honored recipient of the internationally respected ‘Mother Teresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice’ presented by the Harmony Foundation. In 2007, he was invited to meet the UN Secretary General at the Global Leaders Forum and participate in a discussion on achieving the millennium development goals. By invitation, he testified before US Congress on behalf of victimized children. In India, Bombay Teen Challenge has made unprecedented progress in building a relationship with the local government to call for accountability and advocate change in child poverty and trafficking in persons.
The children’s shelter, named Jeevan Jyoti (meaning life and light), is a night and day care center located in the heart of the red light district that provides holistic care for 256 children. Through housing, nutrition, education, healthcare, tutoring, and spiritual guidance, Bombay Teen Challenge offers safety, light, and hope in the midst of a very present darkness.
In 2005, Wellspring International had the opportunity to provide funding to renovate and rent the Jeevan Jyoti facility. Since then, we have provided an annual grant to support running costs for this home for 81 children.
In the year ahead, we aim to provide an annual grant of $62,143 USD toward various identified and monitored needs including rent, food expenses, toiletries, medical expenses, electricity charges, telephone, clothes and accessories, recreation, education expenses, vehicle expenses, salaries, repair and maintenance, and security charges for the children’s shelter.
Please contact us for more information regarding this significant project.
“The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him.”
January ‘05 – Present