BAL MITRA GRAM
For over 20 years Bal Ashram Trust has worked extensively to ensure that children and families from all communities have equal access to quality care, education and govt. schemes and services. The concept of developing Bal Mitra Grams (child-friendly villages) was an outcome of post-rescue and raid operations done by Nobel Laureate Mr. Kailash Satyarthi and Smt. Sumedha Kailash since a majority of children rescued in urban cities were trafficked from villages.
Bal Mitra Gram is an internationally renowned, child-centered, rural development model with a vision to create a child-friendly world. A Child-friendly village refers to a village where there is equal participation of children at the panchayat level, their voices, issues, and concerns are heard. The first-ever Bal Mitra Gram was developed in the year 2001 in Sothana village in Papri Panchayat of Jaipur District, Rajasthan. The objective of the program is to create a robust mechanism of children’s participatory model to eradicate child marriage, child sexual abuse, child labour and trafficking and any form of violence against children.
This initiative was expanded to other states through Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation and the objective was to replicate the theory of change and provide a safety net to children especially girls in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jharkhand, etc. Since 2001, 540 villages have been transformed into Child-Friendly Villages in India and over 1,00,000 children have been impacted through the initiative.