Location: Urban slums in Bangalore
The project works with communities of waste pickers based in the slums of Bangalore. These are some of the most neglected and backward communities and their children are at a constant risk of ill health due to the lack of hygiene and unsanitary conditions. The parents work long hours and therefore children are often neglected and drop out of school. Substance abuse, early initiation into high risk sexual activities are also fairly common. Child marriage is the norm and children often have little or no access to proper health and education facilities which further compounds the challenges they face.
HCNF has used a very unique tool to make inroads into this community and engage with the children. Knowing that this is a very closed community – HCNF supports the on ground partner in creating libraries and fostering a reading habit amongst children as a means of getting them to open up, creating opportunities and ultimately aiming towards creating awareness and bringing about long term solutions. Libraries have been built within the communities and work as a base or center for all the activities conducted. Children also use these not only as a safe space but also as a platform that opens up a whole new world for them and helps them understand how they can change their lives.