“niiti”, a Sanskrit word means, in different contexts, policy, ethics, tenets. To us, who belong here, it is our raison d’etre, our touchstone. So we constantly turn to our ethics and tenets when we re-examine the basis of what we do and how we do it over and over again. This is our space to engage with our core, with you, our readers and companions on the path towards an equitable society in the deepest meaning of the word. Over the past years, there are several social issues and organisations that we have engaged with and been enriched with both experience and knowledge along the way. We believe that in creating a conversation platform for those engaged in the field, including some of our clients, partners, all of you out there who have reached this site wanting to be the change and others who have expertise to comment and critique, we can actually crowd-source actions and solutions for some of our most pressing social issues.

Some of these stories feature organisations and people who have been the change; others highlight innovative approaches to long-entrenched social issues; yet others point to ways in which change can be facilitated, simply. If you are inspired by them as well and motivated to replicate their work, or want to share inputs on other bright examples like these, do write to us at

This is your platform. Feel free to contribute, critique, and most importantly, converse.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Salaam Baalak Trust for India's street children

Salaam Baalak Trust works with India’s street children to give them shelter, education, guidance and the right opportunities that will hopefully, lead them out of Delhi’s forgotten shadows into adulthood. Salaam Baalak Trust came into being in 1988, shortly after a Bollywood film “Salaam Bombay” gripped the nation. “Salaam Bombay” tells the story of India’s street children and the standards within which they live due to the confines of India’s child laboring. The founders, Praveen Nair and Sanjoy Roy decided to create this organization with the film as its namesake.

Salaam Baalak Trust (SBT) offers education, shelter, medical services, vocational training and employment education to ages between 5 and 18.  SBT primarily seeks to mainstream this undervalued group in society to become aware of their value and capabilities. The results speak for themselves. SBT’s website is abound with heart-warming stories of children who ran away from home, came to Delhi on the train, and tried to make a better life. Salaam Baalak Trust offers the support and ideational foundation for these children to find companionship in education, as well as freedom in the possibilities that education offers.  In the past 24 years SBT has helped a total of 4,527 children off the streets of Delhi. Yet they are still learning, adapting and having to overcome difficulties in the business.

SBT is challenged by the mobile nature of the target group. Providing these children with long-term assistance is restricted by the time-lengths that these children do and can stay in a particular place. SBT seeks to improve awareness about the program and attract more stakeholders that can improve its childcare services. Salaam Baalak Trust works towards better quality before quantity, which so naturally grows given the huge number of children of the kind. The organization intends to grow in order to expand vocational training programs. Aside from counseling, and creation of job opportunities, SBT relies on volunteers who mostly arrive from the UK to mentor and provide these children with more open-minded hope towards the future and what they are truly capable of achieving.

For more information about SBT, contact Ms. Praveen Nair, Chairperson Add- 2nd Floor, DDA Community Center, Chandiwali Gali, Paharganj, New Delhi-55, Mob- 9818257109,

 Iliana Foutsitzis is a recent graduate of Northeastern University's Political Science curriculum. Before embarking on a law degree Iliana is spending a gap year in New Delhi, India interning with the Niiti Consulting team.

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