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The Rainbow Home Program provides street girls in India an opportunity to live and study in safe, non custodial, residential environment to secure their basic rights and ensure their reintegration into the mainstream society.
Street children generally live in railway stations and on platforms, pavements, busy markets and under fly overs. They live in the streets due to several reasons like poverty(94%), abandoned by parents(38%), children of migrant or seasonal workers(23%) and those children who have ran away from homes as their parents abused them.
Rainbow homes is focusing on those girl children who live on the streets as 96 % of them have no access to toilets and bathing facilities, 83% of these girls gain puberty on the streets and become easy prey to sexual crimes which are very common but rarely reported, 61% of these girls are sexually abused,exploited and molested and 17% of the girls who live on streets end up becoming prostitutes or indulge in other criminal activities to ensure their survival.
Image Source :- Rainbowhome
Rainbow Homes reach out to the children living on the streets. Most of these girls are orphans or living with a single parent or negligent parents who are either violent, substance users or completely destitute. They facilitate schooling of girl children in government schools, provide nutritious food,sanitation and recreational facilities in a homely environment.
The Rainbow Home Model has been adopted by the Indian Government and included it in the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, a national flagship education programme for children. Central Government published its four- year policy framework on education wherein this model has been preferred for educating street children. Several local governments like in Hyderabad and Bengaluru have decided to open residential facilities for street children.
This programme has been implemented for universalizing Elementary Education as mandated by the Constitution of India to provide free and compulsory education the children who belong to the age group of 6 years to 14 years under the Right to Education Act.
Government is planning to set up more than 600 residential houses for street children as per the Rainbow Home Model. State governments have been considered as the most important partners as they are the providers of infrastructure.
Image Source :- Rainbowhome
They provide school and unused buildings for implementing this model and they are also responsible for making minor infrastructural modifications so that the modal functions efficiently.Thus, ensuring that the funds are used for the model and much less towards the administrative costs.
As a volunteer at Rainbow homes, I have noticed a great deal of enthusiasm in the management team of one of the rainbow homes in Hyderabad. There are 10 more homes which are located in Hyderabad.
Teaching street children has been a great experience for me. There are a lot more achievements which will come across these children due to the support they are getting. Currently, there is a girl who is pursuing her graduation.
Management team of Rainbow Homes are willing to impart training to the girls in the fields they are interested in. Rainbow girl Pooja won a gold and silver medal at the 2015 Special Olympics in Los Angeles. There are many success stories associated with this foundation but the passion of the team members working in this foundation is really inspiring.