THE REASON WHY ANKUR EXISTS                                                         
There are 18 million children living on the streets of India. Boys and girls who are born and die on the streets because of poverty, abandonment and broken homes.
Each and every one of them suffers from a significant lack of affection from a society that marginalises them.
Mumbai, the industrial capital of India, has some 200,000 children on its streets and the number is growing all the time.                                                                                                                                       

At least 5 of the city`s 19 million inhabitants live in subhuman conditions in “slums”, shanty towns which lack the most basic necessities, where dwellers are exposed to all kinds of diseases, such as rickets, tuberculosis and other ailments related to malnutrition and a lack of vitamins. 2 out of every 5 children born in India don`t reach their first birthdays and in this city, one of the most heavily populated in the world, 170,000 children live on the streets and undertake all kinds of work, from collecting waste paper to polishing sandals, cleaning cars, construction and also prostitution.
In these “slums” families crowd together in shacks that are made from sacking and cardboard. They don`t have running water, electricity or waste and hygiene services, and are at the mercy of the monsoons. Rubbish and human excrements are scattered around the narrow streets that separate these precarious shelters. The vast majority of the inhabitants of these shanty towns are migrants that have come to the big city to escape from the poverty of the rural areas and to find work in the industries in Mumbai.
The children living in these “houses” dress in rags (harapos) rags and even eat earth which results in their bellies becoming swollen. The children from the shanty towns “not only jeopardize their childhoods but also their health”.
Many of these street children maintain some kind of link with their families but have to steal, beg, sell newspapers and flowers, clean shoes and any number of jobs to survive and add to the family income. These children range from 5 to 15 years of age. Many others have severed all ties with their families and have made the streets their way of life. They are minors who live in groups, under the guidance of a leader figure, and they spend their time stealing and swindling, or they end up involved in prostitution. Some of them end up using drugs that can be all too readily acquired in cities like Mumbai.

ANKUR (The plant that grows towards life)

Ankur is a children`s refuge for 200 girls that have lived on the streets, been rescued from child labour by the police and come from the city`s “slums”.
The centre`s objective is towards the full development of these young girls, which will prepare them for a decent future whilst providing them with a happy childhood.
Children are the hope and future of every society, and India has the highest index of children in the world. The “street children” are totally rejected and disadvantaged. Their numbers are growing every day.
Our mission is founded on recovering and reaffirming their personalities, helping to integrate them into society with values that will make them honourable citizens that can take responsibility for the future of their country.

The aim of the Community work is to take the girls from the streets into our house-refuges, where we provide them with a warm, family environment, which helps them to recover their self-confidence and to grow healthily in body and spirit. They are given a serious human, professional and intellectual education until they reach the age of consent.

Help to achieve:

     Healthier girls
     Happy girls
     Good school results
     Reach adulthood with studies completed
     Get a good job