Visible on the streets, invisible in policy: A long wait for help for Delhi’s street children

Most policies do not specifically target children living on the streets – which is the most vulnerable category.

BySupriti David
Visible on the streets, invisible in policy: A long wait for help for Delhi’s street children
Shambhavi Thakur
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Roshan does not remember where he was born. But home to him is a sliver of space under the IIT Delhi flyover, where his mother sits on a ragged red mattress.

“I wake up every morning with the sun,” he says. “It’s been the same all my life.”

Roshan is 14 years old. Born to a family of street vendors, he’s one of nearly 70,000 children living on the streets of Delhi.

In July, the Arvind Kejriwal government announced a policy, SAMPARC, to identify these children, emphasising that it “believes in proper education and development of all children”. Both the Delhi and central governments also have a host of schemes for the population – from mental health to deaddiction programmes.

But for those who live on the periphery – especially children eking out a living on the streets – how much access do they have to these schemes?

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