ASIA/INDIA - Balaknama: street children publish a newspaper

Monday, 3 October 2016 street children  


Delhi (Agenzia Fides) - Sexual abuse, child labor, street violence sums up life of street children in India. Delhi’s Balaknama newspaper - the "Voice of Children", which is run by the street children has been working to highlight the plight of fellow youngsters. However, young people engaged in this adventure also tell stories of hope on the positive things that happen in the street. The children who work for this famous newspaper have different origins. For example, the current publisher, who is 17, washing cars during the day to make a living. Others are scavengers, do small odd jobs in street coffee shops, at bus and train stations. For young people like them, Balaknama is a way to tell people about the problems they face on a daily basis. Many do not know how to read or write. Friends and colleagues lend themselves to write their stories for the magazine. Having no possibility to access the internet or fax, the majority of 'reporters' describe their reportage to colleagues in Delhi over the phone. They have an editorial meeting twice a month to decide which stories to publish. The newspaper visits them at work to listen and collect their stories. In has been in circulation since 2003, the eight-page tabloid covers seven cities and has become a part of the life of approximately ten thousand street children. According to estimates by the Indian government, the country has over 400,000 street children, 314,700 in Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Kanpur, Bangalore and Hyderabad and about 100 thousand in Delhi alone. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 03/10/2016)