Sexual abuse, torture, drug addiction, harassment at the hands of thugs and policemen sums up life of street children in India. Delhi’s Balaknama newspaper – the Voice of Children, which is run by the street children has been working to highlight the plight of fellow youngsters.
The editor of Balaknama, 17-year-old Shambhu, washes cars during the day for a living. “This newspaper is our voice to tell people, about what we go through and that even our lives matter,” Shambhu tells Al Jazeera. “People usually don’t care about street children. Whether they are beaten up, raped or even disappear, it hardly creates a flutter.”
The newspaper has four main reporters and 64 news gatherers who go around collecting the stories. They are known as “Baatooni” – the talkative ones. Unable to write their own copies, the Baatooni relate the stories to the main reporters who put them in writing for the issue.