Situated on the outskirts of Delhi, Mukti Ashram is an immediate shelter for the children who are rescued from Delhi and its surroundings. They are immediately provided with medical help, food, clothing, recreational facilities, sports, theatre and counselling during their stay until the legal formalities are completed and they are repatriation and reunited with their families.
Many of the rescued child labourers have seen to be trafficked at a very young age. As a result of which these children lose out on their valuable years of education. However, their immediate need, before anything, is that of their reunification with their families. BBA has witnessed that in majority of the cases, either the children have been kidnapped by force or by fraudulent promises of a good life and education made to the parents. These parents wait for months and years for the return of their missing children. BBA, thus believes that reintegrating these children with their families would give the children the best psycho-social support that cannot be compensated by a foster care institution. BBA also fights for the recovery of back wages on the amount of statutory rehabilitation for the children to enable them to lead a better life. This also prevents these children from being re-trafficked.
After being reunited with the parents, there is a follow up process of the children, reintegrated within the community. If a child is then seen to be in need of a long term educational support, he is brought back to BBA for a longer and more intensive rehabilitation process.
The Meaning of Freedom for Bonded Child Labourers
Everyone perceives freedom in their own ways. Now days for teenagers freedom means to have their own room and space. A women to have freedom means to walk on lonely streets without being scared.
What would be meaning of freedom for a child working 12-14 hours a day in zari, bindi making, batch making, and leather shoe manufacturing unit. The child who is not allowed to go out of a small room stuffed with 7-10 people , 3 adults and rest children of his village and same age, who is only given break for 10 min to eat his lunch and dinner so that his body is not giving up on the hard labour that he is doing.
We asked the recently rescued children. Do they feel any change and how different is freedom then work. As most of the children didn’t knew how to read and write so we told them to draw the difference. We were not expecting them to make beautiful drawing but the purpose was to know what is children’s perspective is toward freedom.