One of our most memorable experiences in Delhi was a day we spent with the Salaam Balaak Trust. The organization works to rescue children living on the street, offer them a safe place to live and, when possible, reunite them with their families. It is an incredible place and the work they do is inspiring. We took a tour they offer to see where the street children live, provide some context to their plight and offer a chance to visit one of their shelter homes to meet and play with the kids.
Our tour guides were former street children themselves, and their stories were nothing short of incredible. Leaving homes where abuse was a part of daily life in hope of finding a better life in the big city, these young boys (now young men) were abandoned to a life of want, hunger, and further abuse. They eventually found their way into a Salaam Balaak Trust rescue home and were provided with hot meals, a place to sleep and informal education as they got their lives back on track. Many are bound for college or careers and full lives not possible without the intervention of this great organization.
The highlight of our day was the time we spent with the young kids living there. The house we visited is home to about fifty boys ranging in age from six to twelve. The facility is modest but sufficient, and the boys were excited to have visitors. In particular, they were excited to have their pictures taken, dance, sing and be silly – as boys that age tend to do. After feeling sorry for ourselves for having to deal with the stressfulness of travel, this provided a welcome wake-up call to how blessed we both are.
If you want to learn more about the work the trust does, their website is: http://www.salaambaalaktrust.com/.