More than 50 pc of Mumbai's street boys from Maharashtra

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Mumbai, Aug 20 (UNI) More than half of the street boys in Mumbai belong to Maharashtra and have come to the city to escape abuse and poverty at home, revealed a study.

Many also come to sell their labour, provide sexual service and experience the glamour of the city, said a study conducted by Shelter Don Bosco, a Wadala-based NGO which has been working with the street child population of Mumbai since 1987.

According to the study, 56 per cent of street boys are from within Maharashtra, while the North (Bihar, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Uttaranchal and Uttar Pradesh) contributed 21 per cent. The east and the south contributed approximately nine per cent each to the population.

Approximately 34 per cent of the street boys had spent between 5 and 15 years in the city, while 37 per cent had spent more than five years on the streets.

''The streets offer them a sense of freedom rarely experienced in the confines of a family and led to the continuation of their lives on the street,'' said the study.

Shelter Don Bosco initiate a number of programmes including Drop-in Centre, 24-hour Open House, Residential Home for children, a Drug De-addiction and Therapeutic Community, Research Centre, Study Classes and a mela, an annual festival to empower the group, which is held on the 19th and 20th of every month.

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