Mumbai, Oct 26: Over 6,000 street children from the city participated in the two-day 'Udaan 2008' National Career Mela in south central Mumbai.
Hundreds of the youth attended various career counselling and vocational training guidance sessions conducted by 200 NGOs and Community Based Organisations (CBOs), during the mela, organised by the Don Bosco South Asian Forum for the Young at Risk (YAR) and Don Bosco Mumbai Province, that concluded.
''The children are from every imaginable background, with 60 per cent from the minority community and 40 per cent from the majoity ommunity. We are trying to give them back their lost childhood, and a little bit more,'' Father Barnaby D'Souza, Executive Director, Shelter Don Bosco, said.
The objective of the mela was to offer career options to the street children, who were vulnerable to socio-economic exploitation, and by enhancing their knowledge and skills, we can help them to a secure source of employment, Father Barnaby added.
Andheri based Financial Information Network&Operation (FINO) opened 151 free Union Bank of India saving accounts for the street children during the mela.
The children also participated in games, forums, discussions, dance shows and other activities, organised by participating NGOs' and scores of volunteers from the city's colleges.