Mottukkal - Centre for Disadvantaged Children
One person is more precious than the whole world – St. Mary Euphrasia.
The assessment done in November 1995 critically studied various aspects of the programme and came out with lot of reflections and recommendations. One of the projects initiated was Mottukkal, (“Bud” in Tamil) established in the year 1996 and committed to serve the underprivileged girl children. It has two components – (a) shelter home for street and run-away children, and (b) outreach programme in slums
Shelter home caters to the needs of run-away young girls, who are either fully or semi orphans. The shelter offers a ‘short stay’, including counselling, referral service and reintegration in the families. Educational support and vocational skills training are also part of the activities for the deserving cases.
The outreach programme was started with the basic purpose of preventing possible ‘run-away’ cases from the Chennai slums. The outreach programme covers about 15 slums in Chennai and comprises of programmes like promoting self-help group among women, promoting children’s club, conducting evening tuition centres, youth camps, etc. It aims at mobilising communities to affirm their entitlements, strengthen families and prevent children from dropping out of school and landing in streets. Conceptually, the shelter home and outreach programme, along with networking with similar instructions makes a perfect blend of institutional and community-based service that addresses the larger issue of girl child trafficking. Young girls running away and landing in the streets of Chennai face the risk of being trafficked and engaged as bonded labourers. The short stay home is a timely service that gives protection to such run-away girls and together with its comprehensive service facilitates reintegration of children in their families.