Transforming the futures of India's street children
By The Railway Children
Over 11 million children live on the streets of India. Children running away from abuse, violence and poverty use India's extensive railway network to get to the cities, where they hope to find a better life. Thousands of children arrive at India’s vast, chaotic railway stations and find themselves lost, alone and scared, with no idea where to go or what to do. Their dreams brutally shattered, they end up living on the platforms. India’s huge, bustling railway stations are perfect for abusers looking to prey on lonely, desperate, vulnerable children. Children are constantly at risk of sexual abuse, exploitation and violence. Many children resort to drugs and substance abuse to get through each day. Railway Children believes that no child should ever be forced to live alone and at risk on a railway platform. The charity wants to be able to reach as many children as possible and make a real, lasting difference to their lives.
People: Social Impact
Number of Lives Impacted:
Planet: Environmental Impact
Topic and Activity Grid
Children & Youth
Trafficking & Modern Slavery
Research & Development
Project Outcome Indicators
— Number of children protected
To determine how effective the project is and the level of need for the project to exist
— Number of children reunited with family
Percentage of children who can be safely returned home
— Number of children placed in long-term care
Percentage of children who cannot be safely returned home but can be placed in long-term care
— Number of children living and working on the street
We expect this number to decrease as work continues to tackle issues that lead children to run away from home
— Attitudes towards children living on the street
Change in attitude from negative to more empathetic and compassionate
— Changes in legislation and policy related to children living on the streets
We will continue to work with government to influence changes in policies to protect and support children living on the streets
To solve this problem, Railway Children works on three different levels; At street level, we strive to meet the immediate needs of children at risk on the streets of India today. We have created ‘child-friendly stations’ with the help of the people who work at them, who now look out for and help children alone and at risk. Our outreach workers spend time with children, gaining their trust and providing someone to talk to and a safe place to stay, while we work out the best long-term solution for them. Where possible, we work to reunite children with their families. We provide child protection booths on train platforms and drop-in centres nearby. At community level, Railway Children works to make children on the streets visible to society and help people understand the issues that cause children to run away. Investing time and skills in preventative intervention, with the aim of creating ‘safety nets’ within communities, helps to catch children who are at risk of running away before they do so. At government level, Railway Children works to persuade policy makers that children living on the streets should be higher on India’s political agenda and that government policies should provide greater protection and opportunity for them. By working with the government, changes can be amplified to affect all children, creating a greater impact. Railway Children also works in an advisory capacity to improve conditions of care and protection in India’s government-run children’s homes.
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will provide running costs for one Child Assistance Booth for one month
will provide building a Child Assistance Booth in a train station
will provide non-formal education sessions in a short-term shelter for six months
will provide running costs of one short-term shelter for 3 months
Direct Commitment Ratio:
Project to Org. Size Ratio:
Needs Intensity Meter
Global intensity meter
In-country intensity meter
How does this work?
Goal 1: No Poverty
This goal focuses on the poor and vulnerable, and aims to: reduce the population living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions, build a policy environment that is supportive of the poor and vulnerable, ensure that the poor and vulnerable have equal rights to economic resources and basic services, land & property, and reduce their exposure to the risks of economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters.
Goal 2: Zero Hunger
This goal focuses on all areas of food access, nutrition, agricultural productivity, sustainable production and consumption systems, and fostering a resilient ecosystem to shocks and disasters by promoting the diversity of crops. In addition it promotes investment in rural infrastructure, makes a commitment to addressing trade issues, and to oversee a functioning food commodity market.
Goal 3: Good Health And Wellbeing
This goal covers all aspects of health and wellbeing from infant mortality to effective service provision to those suffering from substance addiction. There are special commitments to ensuring access to affordable healthcare, the development of disease treatment, cure and prevention, and to strengthen the capacity of all countries for early warning, risk reduction and management of global health risks.
Goal 4: Quality Education
This goal seeks parity in access to education. There is specific focus on areas of early years development, and throughout the educational landscape, from literacy and numeracy to technical and tertiary education. There is a specific mention of upgrading educational infrastructure to be fully inclusive in terms of gender, disability and culture, offering bursaries and scholarships to address imbalances, and also to ensure high quality training and supply of educators.
Goal 5: Gender Equality
This goal seeks to end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere. There is a specific focus on violence, trafficking and other types of exploitation, as well as a recognition of unpaid care work, provision of basic public services, and full reproductive and sexual rights. In the spirit of equality of access and opportunity, there is a workplace leadership and economic element, as well as the creation of an empowering policy environment for women and girls at all levels.
Goal 6: Clean Water And Sanitation
This goal champions universal and equitable access to water and sanitation for all people. There is an element around hygiene promotion, efficiency of use, championing the building and maintenance of appropriate infrastructure and technologies, and building strong international partnerships to ensure equality and sustainability of water and sanitation services worldwide.
Goal 7: Affordable And Clean Energy
This goal focuses on access to energy in a way that is modern, affordable, sustainable and reliable. There is also a commitment to promote and expand the share of energy production by renewable means, championing research and investment into energy efficiency and technologies, and ensuring that the infrastructure and technology has the capacity to support these aims, especially in developing countries.
Goal 8: Decent Work And Economic Growth
This goal covers all aspects of sustainable economic growth and providing full and productive, decent work for all people. The goal is progressive in its promotion of development-oriented policies around entrepreneurship and job creation, resource efficiency, and an end to forced labour and slavery. There’s also a special consideration to reducing the unbanked population, and promoting an integrated strategy around the future of work and the employment of young people.
Goal 9: Industry Innovation And Infrastructure
This goal supports the building of infrastructure and innovations to promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation. The focus is on equality of access to economic development within countries, regions and across borders. There is specific promotion of research and development of technologies both in country and cross-border, and in turn increase access to connectivity, information and communication through access to the internet.
Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities
This goal seeks to reduce inequality within and among countries, in terms of economic, social, and political inclusion. There is a commitment to achieve and sustain the income growth of the bottom 40 percent of the population at a rate higher than a national average, reduce and eliminate discriminatory laws and practices, monitor international financial markets, encourage development assistance and financial flows, from nation states to individuals in the form of remittances.
Goal 11: Sustainable Cities And Communities
This goal pertains to the urban environment in terms of safety, sustainability, respect for heritage, environmental considerations, and the connectivity between urban, peri-urban and rural settlements and areas. Specifically, ensuring that cities are safe, inclusive and of net benefit to its inhabitants, the wider population, and the planet as a whole.
Goal 12: Responsible Consumption And Production
This goal promotes the move towards sustainability of consumption and production on a national and global scale, and covers everything from transparency and clarity on consumer choice, to the sustainable management of waste from industrial production. This Goal specifically looks at influencing businesses (through recommendation and policy) to incorporate sustainability into their procurement, staffing, and reporting, such that sustainability is embedded in the consumption and production cycle.
Goal 13: Climate Action
This goal covers all aspects of addressing and combating climate change. From strengthening resilience of populations at risk of natural disasters and climate based hazards, to education at a human and institutional level on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning.
Goal 14: Life Below Water
This goal encompasses all elements of the protection, restoration and sustainable use of our oceans, seas and marine resources. With an emphasis on reducing marine pollution, increasing the resilience of coastal and marine ecosystems, research on and minimisation of marine acidification, and sustainably managing water-reliant economies to ensure biodiversity while also ensuring fair work and income for those dependent on the oceans.
Goal 15: Life On Land
This goal encompasses all elements of the protection, restoration and sustainable use of our terrestrial ecosystems. This includes a commitment to protecting forests, creating a coherent plan against soil degradation, desertification, and the destruction of habitats of flora and fauna, all of which are critical to biodiversity and sustainable development. This is to be encouraged at a policy level, with a commitment to mobilise resources (financial and non-financial) to enable this conservation.
Goal 16: Peace, Justice And Strong Institutions
This goal focuses on the promotion, development, and maintenance of strong institutions to ensure peace, justice, and inclusion in society. This is detailed as promoting transparency, reducing crime in all forms including terrorism, violent and financial crimes, ensuring every individual is provided a legal identity and has equal and fair access to these institutions.
Goal 17: Partnerships For The Goals
This goal promotes working together, which will strengthen the means of implementation from a local to a global level to achieve sustainable development. Specifically the partnerships are divided into financial, technological, capacity-building, trade, policy and institutional coherence, including multiple stakeholders, and monitoring and accountability. By partnering on any or all of these bases will assist in the reliable achievement of the other 16 Goals.
Five Pillars Graph:
How does this work?
Your project is addressing the following pillars:
An end to poverty and hunger in all their forms and dimensions. A world where all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality, and in a healthy environment.
Protecting the planet from degradation, creating cycles of sustainable consumption and production, management of natural resources and taking action on climate change. This is all to ensure the planet can support the needs of present and future generations.
Fostering peaceful, just, and inclusive societies that are free from fear and violence. This is a necessary state for sustainable development.
Ensuring that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives, and that technological, social and economic progress occurs in harmony with nature.
To mobilise the means required to achieve the other four impact themes, through including the participation of all countries, stakeholders and people.