Bal Ashram - A Glimpse into a New World

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Bal Ashram established in 1998, is the rehabilitation and training center of Bachpan Bachao Andolan(Save the Childhood Movement) catering for the special needs of victims of child labour. It provides rescued children with the compassion, education and vocational training they so desperately need. It helps them to become confident and skilled enough to overcome their past and lead dignified lives. Bal Ashram aims to transform children who have seen the worst, so that they become agents of change against exploitation and abuse. 

Vision

To create a child labour free society, where all children, barring any discrimination on the grounds caste, creed or religion, to receive free, compulsory and quality education.


Objectives

The underlying objective of the Bal Ashram is to impart formal education along with vocational education to those children who had been caged in the age old evil of child labour. The Ashram also tries inculcate a deep sense of social justice, gender equity, environmental concern and an understanding of India's rich cultural heritage.


Bal Ashram does not only offer rehabilitation to children rescued from exploitation. It also generates awareness in the community of the social injustice of trafficking and forced labour. It educates and empowers communities to stand up for the elimination of child labour, encouraging leadership for social justice, equity and peace in village communities.

Between 70 and 100 children reside at Bal Ashram at Virat Nagar, near Jaipur in Rajasthan. Some are enrolled in nearby public schools. Younger children attend literacy and numeracy classes while children over 14 are given vocational training in computers, tailoring, carpentry, painting, electrical and welding skills, as well as social and environmental education. Bal Ashram also offers vocational training to adolescent girls of the nearby villages training in computers, tailoring, embroidery and beautician skills for example. Dozens of volunteer students and interns from all over the world work with children at Bal Ashram.

Most top students at Virat Nagar Government School hail from Bal Ashram. Some outstanding Bal Ashram students have received national and international awards and even addressed the European Parliament, US Senate and UN Assembly.

Facilities, infrastructure and manpower at present:

  • 13 acres of land with dormitories to accommodate approximately 100 children
  • Multi-purpose cultural hall, kitchen and dining complex, training workshop, library and guest rooms
  • Dormitories and guest rooms for international volunteers, researchers and students with all the amenities
  • 1 water well, 2 bore wells and a 2-room health centre
  • Well constructed boundary wall / wire fencing
  • Electric supply, some solar street light poles, diesel generator (power back-up)
  • 1 ambulance
  • 20 cows for yielding organic milk
  • Staff (Director, Manager, Project Officer, teachers, instructors, trainers, cooks, gardener etc)