Second Chance: Street kids in Goa

Nestling between the cool blue waters of the Arabian sea and the dusty heights of the Sayadhri mountain range, Goa is one of the more popular tourist destinations in India. Beggars or street children were traditionally a rarity. A high per capita income, above average literacy levels and a peace loving people, marks this western-Indian state apart.

But an influx of migrant labourers from neighbouring states, with their large families has changed all that. They arrive in the hope of escaping the abject poverty in their home states only to find themselves on the outer margins of society, unable to sustain themselves on the meager wages.

The children are the main victims in this sorry tale. They scour the streets in search of jobs to feed themselves, never having seen a school. Illiterate and alone they are easy targets for exploitation and abuse in hotels and shacks.

When you are at the bottom of the ladder, you are pushed further down.

Luckily for many, the future is not as bleak. Homes run by El Shaddai Street Child Rescue like the House of Kathleen, Victory House, Rainbow House, Shekinah House and other centres such as Asha Deep or Stepping Stones Night Shelter and Day Care Units hold out hope to these children.

Within their walls, more than food, clothing and shelter, these children have been offered life’s second chance.

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