Leh, Mar 30 (ANI): A bank run for street children at Leh in Kashmir has enabled them to become self- reliant.
A non-government organisation called Leh Nutrition Project started the Children Development Khazana (Bal Vikas Bank) in 2005 with the support of 'Butterflies', Programme with Street and Working Children, an NGO based in Delhi.
The aim of establishing this Khazana is to protect the interests of street children by enabling them to save money for their future.
"This Khazana is open every Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon for those children who want to deposit their money and most of the children deposit 10 rupees to 15 rupees every week. In the beginning, twenty children opened their account. Presently, fifty children have their accounts. I hope in future, more children will come forward to deposit money in this bank," said Tundup Tsomo, Manager, Children Development Khazana.
Encouraged by the initiative of the Children Development Khazana, parents of a lot of street children have also started saving small amounts of money for their children.
"In 2005, a Khazana was opened here in the village and it proved very helpful for our children. We started depositing money for our children's future. Earlier, we were not used to save money, but this Khazana has enabled us to do so," said Tashi Jorgais, a resident, Chushot village.
The funds collected are used to encourage children to set up their own business activity when they grow up so that they become self-reliant and do not have to face a tough time earning their livelihood.
So far altogether 356 children have managed to deposit a total amount of more than one hundred thousand in this Khazana.
Started in April 2001, the project was conceptualized and initiated by Butterflies, as a vehicle to empower street and working children.
The project is operational in the South Asian region with 75 main branches and 49 sub branches of Khazana operational in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Within India, Children Development Khazana is also in Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi and Mujaffarpur (Bihar). By Nitin Bhatia (ANI)