Concerned for working children (CWC)

Bangalore, India

www.workingchild.org

CWC has been helping street children in Bangalore, India, since 1980. It has won plaudits from Save the Children, World Vision and UNICEF for its innovative work, which focuses on empowering children to organise themselves and defend their rights. CWC helped working children to set up Bhima Sangha, which is a union of, by and for working children. It has a membership of 13,000 in Karnataga.

Since its inception, Bhima Sangha has been a powerful advocate for the rights of working children. It is equally concerned about improving the quality of life of the parents and communities from which the children come. At the national and regional level, Bhima Sangha has links with other working children and is helping them to form their own unions – conducting workshops in which they provide information about both child rights and unionisation. CWC also recognises the links between urban and rural poverty and tries to respond to the problem in a holistic manner.

Gramashrama, CWC’s rural project, was started in 1989 – to address the issue of child labour, by stemming the flow of rural children migrating into urban centres in search of work. Gramashrama currently works in 80 villages in four different districts of Karnataka to evolve a child-centred, comprehensive development in its villages. The scope of the programmes includes revival of the rural economy; the evolution of appropriate educational opportunities; strengthening decentralised local governance, and the empowering of working children and their communities.

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