Raj was only eight when three tragedies struck his family. His mother fell seriously ill an uncle was killed by local gang lords and his father, unable to handle this stress lost his mental balance. Soon he lost his job as well. Raj is the oldest of six siblings and despite his age had no choice but to start working in Mumbai’s dumping ground in Govandi as a ragpicker. Physical injury, threat, violence and illness became routine. But the money he earned kept his house running and paid for medical treatment of both his parents.
After working on the dumping ground for more than five years. Pratham, an NGO offered him a class he could do while working. Aangan case workers met Raj and encouraged him to pursue his educational goals. He entered Aangan’s Life Plan contest, an activity where vulnerable children are coached develop up a plan (highlighting educational/vocational goals. They are mentored and supported to implement these. Raj won Aangan's Life Plan Contest and a scholarship for a computer course, typing and English speaking. He also grew into a peer leader in our Chauraha Program, which reaches boys who engage in dangerous work or risky behavior. Raj helps Aangan find and inspire boys who have struggles similar to himself.
Recently he was finally able to stop working in the dumping ground and his father started earning again. Now at sixteen, he starts the day at his computer and typing classes, then attends formal school (7th standard) in the afternoon and tuitions in the evening. He is chasing his dream to become a computer specialist with dedication and an absolute impressive will.
Eight boys of Aangan's Shakti and Chauraha Program performed at the TEDxYouthMasala conference on November 20th in Mumbai. As they spoke about very personal obstacles and successes they brought alive some of the serious issues of child protection from their own point of view. Watch the video. Click here
As part of Aangan’s activities in our Youth Centers in slum areas of Mumbai the film making of “Jaan, Shaan, Imaan”was initiated. The discussion of cases of boys in Observation Homes got children thinking and scripting around these themes with Aangan team and theatre actor Pramod Pathak. Sutur, one of the main characters of the films spoke with Pramod about how the film making impacted him. read more
This Chauraha boy’s biggest obstacle was perhaps the unsupportive attitude of his mother. Read about how Sanjay, formerly involved in petty theft, has improved the relationship with his family by leap and bound with the help of the individual mentoring of an Aangan social worker. Today he is working at a Xerox Center and greatly improved the relationship to his mother. read more
At the age of 10 Ranjit’s parents had forced him to drop out of school to earn money selling balloons at traffic junctions with peers. Soon they felt into stealing or shoplifting. One day he was arrested. Police referred him to Aangan's Youth Center, where he participated in all its activities and took a lot of initiative. Within months he was selected for a scholarship to hold cricket tournaments for young boys like himself combining sports and sessions on life skills. Today he makes a living from working in an auto repair workshop and sets an example for other youths. read more
Living at the mercy of the streets, 14-year-old Dilip stole to support his drug habit. With the help of Aangan’s Chauraha Project, this previously aimless boy went back to school, became a part of a hockey team and is on his way to realizing his goals. Read about how this former drug addict turned his life around. read more
Part of our activities with the at-risk boys in the Youth Centers is group work around issues like peer pressure, impulse control, dealing with stress at home, education and vocation planning. As part of this process, the film making of Jaan, Shaan, Imaan (Love, Pride, Honor) were initiated. The discussion of cases of boys in Observation Homes got children thinking and scripting around these themes with Aangan team and theatre actor Pramod Pathak.Altogether nineteen high-risk boys from Mumbai’s disadvantaged areas of Govandi, Bhiwandi, Antop Hill and Dongri scripted, acted and recorded these short films depicting the story of how boys end up in Observation Homes. read more