Thane, Maharashtra – The Women and Child Welfare department has launched a special bus called `Bal Snehi’ for street children to provide educational and counseling facilities. Thane district collector, Ashok Shingare, inaugurated the bus on Tuesday. This initiative aims to provide health, education, and nutrition to kids living on the streets through a child-friendly mobile bus. It is run through an NGO, and such buses will also be introduced in Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, and Mumbai, according to officials.
Features of the Bus
The mobile bus has a seating capacity of 25 and will visit six different locations in the district. It has a staff of four, including a counselor, a teacher, a caretaker, and a driver, who will look after the children. The bus has CCTV and a location tracker system to ensure the children’s safety. It will operate in pockets where kids live on the street and under bridges in the Kalwa, Mumbra, Bhiwandi, and Navi Mumbai areas.
The goal of the initiative is to provide health, education, and nutrition to children living on the streets. The children will receive informal education in the moving bus, and later, based on their capabilities, they will be sent to regular schools. In addition to education, their medical check-ups will be done, and appropriate nutrition will be provided through food and medicine. The civic body will also focus on helping the kids’ mothers prepare documents and find jobs.
The Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) has launched this one-of-a-kind initiative to provide a child-friendly mobile bus to educate and feed street children. Thane is the first city in Maharashtra to introduce such a bus, thanks to the Women and Child Welfare department, which had already conducted a street survey in January 2022 and collected data from 1,936 children.
Madhukar Gaikwad, head of the Women and Child Welfare department, said, “We are set to look after their health, education, and nutrition. We are connected to these children and their families at the ground level.”
The central government has sanctioned ₹50 lakhs for the project, which aims to ensure that street children receive the same opportunities as other children to learn and grow. The mobile bus initiative will go a long way in providing a brighter future for these children.
The Bal Snehi bus initiative aims to provide a safe and healthy environment for street children to learn and grow. By providing education, medical check-ups, and nutrition, the project will enable them to integrate into mainstream society. With the launch of the first mobile bus in Thane, other cities in Maharashtra can also follow this path to uplift the lives of street children.