Profile of street children utilizing shelter home services in Mumbai, India
Dilip D Kadam, Ashish W Khobragade, Ratnendra R Shinde
Background: Street children run away from their homes because of poverty, neglect, abuse and hunger. The continuous exposure to harsh environments made them vulnerable to substance use. The main objective of this study was to determine factors influencing existing life style and addiction. Methodology: This was a cross sectional study through consecutive random sampling method. Data was collected by interviewing street children after rapport building. Statistical test like mean, standard deviation, chi square were used to analyze data.Results: Total 100 street children aged 6 – 18 years were studied. School dropout including never went to school at all were 72%. Daily and occasional contact with parents was seen among 70% children. For earning money, jobs like rag picking, house maid servant, selling flowers and balloons were commonly performed. Tobacco use was observed among 83% subjects.Conclusion: Easy money and access to addictive substances with no education is compelling street children to continue their miserable life. Earlier intervention by Shelter homes and inter-sectoral coordination may help street children in long way.