RAPID ASSESSMENT OF STREET CHILDREN IN 13 YAR CENTRES IN INDIA
A national research initiative by Don Bosco National Forum for the Young at Risk
The Don Bosco National Forum for Young at Risk is in the process of launching a new research initiative on a national level and aims at bringing forth cutting–edge research findings that would eventually result in influencing special provision in national policy and programmes for children and youth. Setting the plan in motion, an introductory study of rapid assessment of street children was embarked upon because of the contemporary relevance and persisting perplexity regarding the street children. Research on street children have been on records focusing on Issues such as child labour, violence and crime on children, drug abuse, trafficking and health issues such as HIV/AIDS. However, there are no official figures regarding the current status of street children, magnitude of street children across different states, demographic features and the needs of street children in India. Such gap in knowledge will have adverse impact on the planning and budget allocation for care and protection of the needy children and continued deficiency in services towards them.
At this back drop, a systematic approach to enumerate the street children and assessing their needs and concerns would significantly contribute to the body of knowledge on street children and could help in planning and implementing a well coordinated programme to meet the needs of street children and respect their rights on a national level. Acquiring a new face for YaR centres for advocacy in the light of the study, a consultative status for DBRC in the ministerial level for policy making and to affect policies for children and budget allocation by Govts are other major expected outcome of the study.
Hence the Don Bosco National YaR Forum for Young at Risk have come to a consensus that a rapid assessment of street children be implemented in 13 YaR centres in India and accordingly Don Bosco Research Centre Mumbai was officially given the responsibility to plan the entire study including research design, field study, analysis of data, report writing and dissemination. Accordingly, at the initial phase, identifying the hot spots of street children in different places in Mumbai was carried out i.e., railway stations, signals, flyovers, under bridges, religious premises (churches, temples, masjids, gurudwaras), markets, bus depots, dumping grounds and durgas. Such spots would be replicated in other YAR centres
A pre-testing of the study tool, i.e, the interview schedule was done at selected places and hot spots in Mumbai for two days in July, 2012 and on the basis of findings, field observations and field experiences of the staff, certain modifications were made to administer the tool for data rich and accurate field information from the streets of Mumbai during the final data collection. Given below is the plan of action in the month of August and September, 2012 for field study in five YaR cities Mumbai, Delhi, Guwahati, Kolkotta and Bangalore. Studies in other remaining YaR centres will be followed after this.
Familiarizing with the tool
The tool will be made familiar to the YaR coordinators and local team other than Mumbai initially through skype by the national research co-coordinator of DBRC, Mumbai
Training for the field investigators
Training is a prerequisite and essential before the staff are sent out to the field. Since the data collection requires substantial manpower apart from available staff of all YaR centres, other personnel like volunteers and students from local educational institutions such as colleges, social work students, management students, or similar resources will need to be involved.
Data collection from the Field need to commence soon after the training sessions at Yar centres in September, 2012. In Mumbai the data collection will start from 30th July to 10th August
Collect information from local RTI regarding the number of NGOs running children’s homes in the city with total number of inmates and gender wise data ( number of males and females
Local city NGOs for street children, street children’s homes, shelter homes (not listed in RTI list) need to be contacted to get information such as total number of street children, male and female children, category of services (whether shelter, drop in, day care etc..). The information format will be provided to the YaR centres by DBRC. For NGO information, YaR office staff or research staff (other than who are field investigators) can do the correspondence electronically and send the format to the NGOs to fill the same and return to the respective YaR centres.
In each YaR city, a few children’s homes can be selected and the concerned person in charge can be interviewed to get their views on issues of street children of their organizations and their concerns. Focus group discussion with 6-8 children from the selected NGOs will able to record the children’s point of view, their needs and expectations.
Data entry, analysis, report writing and dissemination and publicity