Over 20 million children live in orphanages and shelter homes in India. Over the years, this number has considerably increased.
Of nearly 435 million children in India, 40% are estimated to be in need of care and protection.
“When we meet children [we know], we see them doing well. On the other hand, there are children that we know of, have seen and taught who have potential to but lack the guidance, support and finance required to study further,” states Aditya Surneni, co-founder of Guardian of Dreams.
Shocking statistics regarding child abuse, sexual harassment, neglect of children and child marriage prompted Aditya, Gloria Benny, Mekha T and Sujith Varkey to form Guardian of Dreams, an organisation that works exclusively for the welfare of orphans and children in shelter homes.
One of our newest Impact partners, Aditya and his team, who have worked with disadvantaged children for almost a decade, want to ensure that “every child will receive the care, resources and support needed to achieve positive adult outcomes.”
Guardian of Dreams intend to make a difference in the whole childcare sector.
They help shelter homes get funds, hope to set up a research institution for child care, put shelter homes on Google Maps in Bangalore and Kochi so they can be easily contacted, renovate shelter homes to ensure adequate space and hygiene, provide identification documents to children and provide scholarships.
Many children in shelter homes who have either been abandoned or have run away from home do not have birth certificates or Aadhar identification and are hence not accounted in the census of India. Guardian of Dreams, along with the Unique Identification Department of India, have carried out weekend drives, visited shelter homes and provided 350 children with Aadhar cards.
Without these Aadhar cards, many of these children would have gone through life with a lot more difficulty as they would not be able to avail many basic services.
And while the government’s Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan guarantees free education to young children, those beyond the age of 14–15 have no support. Shelter homes rarely can afford to pay for higher education.
Students who do well in class 10 and 12 and want to continue their education are provided money every quarter by this organisation.
They even keep in touch with such children so that they know they have a source of constant support. For children who lack parents or guardians, this makes a world of a difference.
This year, Guardian of Dreams have turned to us as they seek to raise
Rs 5,50,000 to provide scholastic awards to 82 bright children in shelter homes in Bangalore and Kochi.
Twenty million is a large number but we are proud to partner with an organisation that is seeking to make a concerted effort to help this group of children born and raised in the most difficult circumstances.
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