Provision of Legal Identity Ushers in New Hope for Anshu from Agra

Fourteen-year-old Anshu Singh has never stepped out of his house on his own, he has never attended school and played with his friends. He is completely dependent on his family for his day-to-day activities because of his disability. He lives with his parents and elder brother in an urban slum in Agra. He wants to be independent and experience the joys of his teenage years. But his family could not afford medical aid for him due to their financial woes.

Working as daily wage workers, on days when they couldn’t find work, Anshu’s parents were unable to bring food to the table. This also meant that parents were not able to give the required attention to Anshu and his needs. To make matters worse, Anshu’s name was not included in the family’s ration card and the boy didn’t even have an Aadhaar card which rendered him incapable of accessing the benefits of various social protection schemes.

It was at this critical juncture for Anshu’s family that Save the Children stepped in. When our team found out about Anshu’s situation, they reached out to his father first and helped him find a regular job. With the team’s help, his father landed a job as a security guard with a salary of INR 7,000 per month.

Thereafter, we began the process of getting Anshu an Aadhaar card. Our team accompanied Anshu and his father to an Aadhaar Camp in Agra and helped them complete all requirements for enrolment. The next step was to help Anshu obtain a Disability Certificate from the government so that he can have access to all benefits and schemes being provided to disabled children, and stand a chance to live a better life.

“I am very happy that Save the Children supported my child to get an Aadhaar Card. I have also applied for a Disability Certificate for him, which will help me add his name in the Ration Card. I would not have been able to do this on my own,” shares teary-eyed Anshu’s father, Sher Singh.

The project for Children in Street Situation started in 2020 in Agra. Over a period of one year, more than 2,000 children were reached in four urban slums in the city. These children were linked to legal identities for availing the benefits of government welfare schemes.

Children like Anshu deserve their share of happiness, and Save the Children is working relentlessly to ensure that such children are not left behind because of who they are or where they come from.

A recent report stated that the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has chalked out a rehabilitation plan for all children in street situations. “Among the street children, we basically found three types of children — first who ran away from their homes or have been abandoned and are living on the streets alone; second those who are staying with their families and their whole family hustles on the streets; and the third category is those who live in nearby slums, so in day time, they are on streets and at night, they go to their homes,” explains NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo.

The Supreme Court has also directed the states to identify and rehabilitate children in street situations adversely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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