The Street Children's Day is commemorated every year on the January 31st to highlight their plight, raise funds for projects for them and support the NGOs that work for such children. However, there happens to be hardly any change in street children's plight.
There are several lakh such children in India. Every big city has several thousand street children, The Jaipur-based NGO I-India runs a helpline for street children buts find that due to public and police apathy, their number is increasing every year. Another NGO, called Tabar, tries to trace the run-away children to restore them back to their families, but often, such children run away again from their homes to new cities due to family neglect and domestic violence.
Various NGOs report that with a large population living below the poverty line, domestic violence, unemployment, unplanned urbanisation, attraction of city life, laundering of project funds and lack of political will, both the number of street children, incidents of juvenile crimes and child labour are on the increase.
Though there is no one definition of street child, however, a commonly understood notion is that a street child is a homeless child who lives on the street, footpath, public spaces and wasteland without state protection and adult supervision or care. A street child is always vulnerable and often subject to abuse, neglect and exploitation.
The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has adopted a resolution on street children emphasising the importance of building relationships of trust, empowerment, and participation. The UN has urged the member states to ensure street children's rights through integrated national child protection strategies.
Due to lack of political will, money laundering from project funds and powerful exploitative forces most street children become criminals, child labour, bonded children and sex slaves, inform social scientists and activists.