New Vision Rainbow Homes is a collaboration between Association for Rural and Urban Needy (ARUN) and New Vision, to provide shelter to the most vulnerable section of the society, street Children (Girls). The Rainbow Network runs 45 homes across India, these homes are run by Rainbow Foundation India (RFI), NGO partners and Government who provide Infrastructure facilities to run these homes. The Rainbow Home program secures the basic rights of the girl child through guaranteed education, nutrition, clothing, health care, recreation, love and support to ensure their reintegration into mainstream Indian society. The girls are enrolled in regular school programs and age appropriate classes, usually after a short period of remedial teaching as well as by a wide volunteer base and buddy programmers with children/students in more privileged schools.
The Rainbow Program also acts as a catalyst in the community, encouraging other school drop-outs and poor children from nearby slums and shanties to attend school without fear of stigma and reproachment.
Approximately 18 million* children living on the streets across India without adequate assistance or supervision by adults and without any protection.
These children have little or no access to basic needs such as food, a home, clothing, medical care and education.
They lack the opportunities and support necessary for successful reintegration into mainstream society.
This on-going issue is a challenge because of the never-ending influx of immigrants from rural areas and small towns
There is general desensitization to the problem due to over exposure to poverty and multiple social ills prevalent in India
A substantial reduction of the number of street children requires large-scale, economically viable and innovative solutions.
Finding and retaining qualified personnel to work with the street children, mainly as a result of the low scale salaries paid in the social sector.
Lack of continued and stable financial support for the long term, which is required to help train the wards to help them secure proper homes. This is difficult to achieve through western donor organizations.
★ WHY THE RAINBOW PROGRAM IS FOCUSED ON GIRLS:
Girls who live on the streets suffer the most deprivation.
Apart from no shelter, 96% of them have to make do without a toilet and bathing facilities.
83% of these girls gain puberty on the streets and become easy prey to sexual crimes which are common and rarely reported
61% of the girls living on the street are sexually molested and exploited
17% end up in prostitution or other forms of criminal activities to ensure their survival
★ Rainbow Solution:
To reach out to the most vulnerable urban children living on the streets who are at risk of sexual and physical abuse. Most of these girls are orphans, or living with a single working parent, or negligent parents who are either violent, substance users or completely destitute.
Facilitating access to government schools, which is an entitlement of a child and responsibility of the government
Providing places to sleep, nutritious food and sanitary and recreational facilities in a loving and regular home-like environment
Low expenditures on housing and construction
Cooperation with local, regional and federal authorities, which serves the sustainability of the program in the long run.
Focus on reintegration, as the girls are in direct contact with the regular pupils of their age group through which new friendships and bonds arise.
★ Mandated by the Government:
Recognizing that children’s basic needs (i.e. food, shelter, healthcare) must be met before they can focus on education, these services need to be integrated into the educational model. This is possible only with residential Homes, which should be available to the child for his or her entire childhood and youth. The Rainbow Home Model has been adopted by the Indian Government and included in the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, a national flagship education program for children (www.ssa.nic.in).
The central government published its 4 year policy framework on education in which the Rainbow Home model is presented as a preferred solution for street children.Several local governments such as in Hyderabad and Bangalore have decided to accelerate the opening of residential facilities for street children following the Rainbow Home Model.
This program is for Universalization of Elementary Education as mandated by the Constitution of India to make education free and compulsory to children of 6-14 years age group, under the Right To Education (RTE) Act. The Government plans to set up over 600 residential centers for street children according to the Rainbow Home model as one of the best practices to prove the scalability of the Rainbow Home concept.
The State Governments make important partners for the use of existing school and unused buildings, which help save huge infrastructure and operational costs. Local Government appoints sections of the building to a Rainbow Home and is (financially) responsible for minor infrastructural modifications to it, to make it conducive for a Rainbow Home to function efficiently. This ensures the funds are mainly used for the purpose intended and much less towards the administrative costs.