In January 1989, the corporation of Vijayawada invited the Don Bosco Society to rehabilitate the children on the streets of Vijayawada city. The Don Bosco Society responded positively and started negotiating with the corporation for land to start the project. The corporation assigned a piece of land on the Eluru canal bund near the railway station. On this land, a shelter for the children on the street, was constructed. The work was making slow progress.
Navajeevan and Rehabilitation Centers
In 1993 the work for the street children received a new impetus. The premises were christened Nava Jeevan Bala Bhavan.
Gradually several new initiatives were planned and implemented. The Shelter was open to all street children, but the boys were regular and irregular in their stay. The boys who were regular were invited to attend re-orientation camps where they are helped to plan their future, to return home, regular school education, learning a skill followed by apprenticeship and employment, or any reasonable proposal made by the boy. Thus foster homes for the school going children, skill training courses, Yuva Bhavan for working youth were started. The street children project was appreciated not only in Vijayawada but nationally and Nava Jeevan received the National Award for child welfare in 1996.
In 1997, the Government of Andhra Pradesh recognized Nava Jeevan Bala Bhavan as a fit institution under section 13 (1) of the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986. As per this government order, Nava Jeevan Bala Bhavan was allowed to admit abandoned children and to take custody of children committed by Juvenile Court/Juvenile welfare board. Today Vijayawada has a number of other NGOs committed to the street children. Today many of Navajeevan street children are entering professional courses, some of them are prominent, respected citizens.
With the good will and appreciation of the public, the NGOs created a movement to make Vijayawada a “child friendly” city. The police department, the courts, Lions club, Rotary club and prominent citizens participated in this movement. Public awareness has increased about children who are in conflict with the law or children who do not receive “care and protection”. Today children are respected and treated better in Vijayawada. Under this movement, Street children are sent to rehabilitation homes. Child laborers are freed and rehabilitated, school drop outs are supported to return to school and the children who lack “care and protection” are placed in “Chiguru” (children’s village of Navajeevan), where they can stay and study till care and protection is available to them.
The next attempt was to make Krishna District a “child friendly” district. Some of the collectors took this to heart. They, with the help of the NGOs tried to put into practice the CRC “Child Rights Convention of the UN. The “right to participation” gives the children the right to express their opinion to the civil administration and if it is feasible the administration has to implement it. An attempt was made to organize the children into neighborhood “children’s Parliaments” which is a “forum” for children to express their opinions. The children present their consensus opinion to the local authority that listens to them and implements them. This ensures children’s participation in governance. These “Children’s Parliaments” locate child laborers, school dropouts, run away children, children who need care and protection and when completely implemented these can make Krishna district into a “child friendly” district.
Nava Jeevan’s objective is to reach out to every child on the street with love and concern. This means: To accept the child unconditionally for what they are. To collaborate with the child in their own initiatives of overcoming deprivations. To counsel the child to make positive and correct choice about his/her future. To motivate the child to go back home if there was a home for him/her to go to. To make every effort to rehabilitate the child. To make society “Child friendly”
P.B. 507, 24-3-35, Andhra Ratna Road
Bavajipet 1st Line
Vijayawada Dist –– 520 003
SALIBANDLA Balashowry Reddy
AIYYARAPPALLIL John Punnose
YERUVA Pradeep Reddy
MACS (Mutually Aided Cooperative Societies)
1. Swasakthi MACS (Krishna)
- Socio-Economic and political empowerment of women/
girl children of the Dalit and other marginalised Urban communities
- Running costs Vijayawada — Supported by JDW Germany and Don Bosco Mondo
Jugend Hulife weltweit Eingetragener Verein – Bonn, Germany
- Reorientation Camps, Navajeevan Vijayawada —
Supported by Don Bosco Germany
- Care of sick children of the streets and marginalized youth —
Supported by Don Bosco Mondo Germany
- Women Project in Vijayawada — Supported by Jugeng Eine Welt, Austria
- Rehabilitation of Children Labourers at Autonagar, Vijayawada — Supported by Don Bosco Jugend Dritte Welt, Germany
- Residential center for the former street children in Vijayawada — Supported by JDW Bonn, Germany
- Expenses for inhouse infirmary Vijayawada Navajeevan — Supported by Don Bosco Jugend Drtte welt,