What We Do

What We Do

SATHI’s work primarily revolves around two themes – “early intervention” and “restoration of separated children back to family”. Early intervention means contacting or rescuing a child within one or two days of the child’s arrival on the platform; before it has a prolonged exposure to the risks of street life. Restoration of a child back to its family follows the basic principle of “home” being the best place for a child to live and grow. SATHI’s programs are made up of the following components


Rescuing children from railway platforms

At each of SATHI’s project locations, a team of 4 to 5 outreach workers patrol the railway stations every day for 8 to 10 hours looking for and identifying missing/lost children, children unaccompanied by adults, children who appear to move in an unfamiliar area or suspected to be trafficked, etc. These children are contacted in a friendly manner and motivated to come to the safety of a shelter. The shelters are normally located close to the station. The children are transferred by the order of Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and support of the local railway authorities – Government Railway Police (GRP) and/or Railway Protection Force (RPF).


Shelter-care, counselling and guidance

Once a child is brought to the shelter, it is given basic facilities including food, clothing, medicines (if required) and washing facilities. Through a series of activities and casual interactions, the child is made to feel comfortable. The counsellors at the shelters then have sessions with the child to understand his reasons for being away from the family and try to motivate the child to go back to the care and affection of his family.

Children who have recently run away from home usually respond well to our program and share details about their families quickly. Most children stay in the shelters for 2 to 3 days after which they are either reunited with families or are referred to other institutions for further care and counselling.

SATHI is running shelters at Pune and New Delhi under the scheme of “Mission Vatsalya”, MWCD, GoI.


Address-tracing and restoration

Based on the information given by the child, his address is traced and family contacted. In many cases, the child provides a contact number or the name of his village. With this the parents are contacted directly or through the police network. In some cases a combination of efforts such as using internet and social media, contacting other NGOs or institutions, team members’ own personal network of contacts result in successful address tracing.

The families are invited to come to the shelter to receive their children. This provides us an opportunity to interact deeply with the parents / guardians about the problems of the child, reasons for separation and care plan for the future. We recommend restoration of the child back with its family if it meets the following criteria:

  • Child must be willing to go home
  • There must be at least one person in the family to look after the child with care and affection
  • Child must have a space for learning and growth
  • Basic needs of the child are met (food, clothing, shelter)
  • The real reason for separation is identified and addressed
  • There are no or minimal chances of repetition of separation

The final decision with regard to restoration of the child rests with the Child Welfare Committee of the respective districts. In case the children cannot be sent back to family, they are referred to the Govt. Children’s Home or any other institution for further care and protection.


Restoration of children staying in govt. Homes

SATHI engages with Govt. Children Homes across the country to help children who have been staying in the homes for long duration reunite with their families. We approach the respective state governments for access to the homes for identifying children who are not in contact with families or those in whose cases address tracing efforts were not successful or children who are unwilling to open up. Our counsellors engage with such children and after sustained efforts, many of their families are found and children are restored.

An important component of our work in government homes is to sensitize the Govt. Home staff and involve them in the restoration process, so that they are able to help more children themselves. Over the years, we are happy to note that more children are being restored through the initiatives of the government home staff.


Enhance support system for COVID-19 affected children belonging to marginalized families in Pune & Bangalore.

COVID-19 pandemic across India was an unprecedented crisis that affected lakhs of families, including children. With income sources dwindling during the pandemic and limited financial savings to rely on, loss of the breadwinner resulted in great economic hardship on the families. Children may discontinue their education for financial reason. SATHI is supporting these children and their families through:

Supporting children to continue their education

  • Provide financial support to help pay school, fees uniforms, travel and tuitions
  • For teenaged children (16 years and above) provide skill training for job placement
  • Help apply for scholarships and government benefits

Supporting and enabling surviving parent or guardian

  • Provide financial assistance for food and housing in emergency situations.
  • Counsel single mothers and orient them towards various livelihood development opportunities
  • Link the children and their families/guardians with government social security schemes
  • Help a subset of the women start or expand their small business ventures (self-employment)

Through this project, we have helped 381 children and 56 single parents helped to expand their business at Pune and Bangalore.

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