SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages India).

Bawana is a town in the North West district of Delhi, the capital of India. Around 70,000 people live in this town, while the territory of Delhi counts approximatively 17 million people. Many people have been forced to move to Bawana due to the Delhi slum clearance measures that have taken place in recent decades. However, living conditions in the slums of Bawana are even worse than in New Delhi. Furthermore, the area has the worst pollution in the entire world.Children are most vulnerable to these living conditions, suffering from poverty in the slums, and from the health consequences of pollution.

Since 1976, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Bawana.

2 Million
Children suffer from lung damage

Children vulnerable for pollution

Delhi, the territory where Bawana is located, is one of the most polluted areas in the world. Many restrictions have been put into place to decrease air pollution, which is especially toxic in the winter. However, an estimated 2 million people die in India due to toxic air pollution. The main causes are car emissions, and the emissions of a coal power plant in the city. New Delhi is infamous for its many traffic jams, and the city counts around 12 million vehicles, most of them driving on petrol or diesel. Children are especially vulnerable to these aspects of pollution, having a negative effect on their health and living conditions. Indeed, 2 million children in New Delhi have irreversible lung damage due to the poor quality of the air.

2 Million
People live in poor housing

Children vulnerable in slums

The infrastructure of New Delhi, which is located about 25 km from Bawana, has been unable to keep up with the rapid economic development. Often people who move to New Delhi in search of a better life and job opportunities, end up in one of the slums in the city. An approximate 2 million people live in these poor conditions. In recent years, people were forced to move to Bawana when the Delhi municipal authorities decided to clear several slums in central New Delhi. This created slum relocation colonies, where living conditions are even worse than in the original slums. There is a lack of affordable housing, adequate sanitation and safe drinking water. Children are most vulnerable to the poverty in these slums, lacking access to healthcare and education.

Your support makes a difference for children in Bawana

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Can stay together
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Young children with their caregiver. Siblings grow up together, and often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages India).

How your support helps in Bawana

Strengthening families and communities
When parents face hardships, they can sometimes struggle to give children the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities. Each family needs different support so that they can stay together. This support can include workshops on parenting and children’s rights. We also run training so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start their own businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.