You know them, you see them everyday. On some occasions you cringe, on others, you feel sorry. Often unknowingly, you ignore, sometimes you show sympathy. At an age when they should be reading books and playing with toys they sell, they are burdened with the task of earning for survival, bereft of their childhood.
Two million children live on the streets of India, without an identity, a name to call their own, a place to call home, sleeping on empty stomachs for days and nights. These two million are children, who have dreams, who have rights, who are our tomorrow. They are living in the shadows today, it’s time to unveil.
Vicky Roy is an internationally acclaimed photographer from Purulia district in West Bengal. He was awarded the prestigious MIT Media Fellowship in 2014 and was listed in the Forbes Asia 30 under 30 in 2016.
In 2018, he travelled ten cities in India to meet, talk and photograph street-connected children that were a part of Save the Children's campaign called #Thelnvisibles. Vicky believes that anyone can make a difference, they only need the will to act.
Enter to witness a transforming journey of children. They lived in the shadows of the streets for long. Now, their legal identity gives them access to basic rights, a life of dignity and hope for the future. Their stories of determination and grit inspire us.
Save the Children, through their intervention, #TheInvisibles, has reached 2,28,253 children between the age group of 1-18 years with identity cards and 89,994 children with access to social security schemes across ten cities in four states - West Bengal, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. At the end of a journey spanning two years emerged innocent joyous smiles, restored identities, and renewed hope.
It has been humbling to know the inspiring stories of all these children. Thanks to Save the Children, they now have access to a new pathway to success and means to fulfill their potential. The identity cards are a gateway into the system and access to their rights.
The work done by Save the Children, under the campaign #TheInvisibles, has been unparalleled. Their efforts aimed at restoring the lives of thousands of street children have yielded positive outcomes time and again, helping them build secure, happy futures.
When I heard about the work done by Save the Children for over 200,000 street children, I was awed. By assisting them in procuring government identity documents, Save the Children has shown them a bigger, better world, and above all linking them to the government schemes. Every child counts.