The helpless, rootless and roofless children find a shelter that makes a lasting impression and a permanent livelihood in the various premises of Ashalayam, Delhi DON BOSCO (1815-1888) The founder of the Salesian Society, known as the father and friend of abandoned youngsters, welcomed the roaming children on the streets of his native city of Turin, Italy, into his home. The industrial revolution had caused rampant unemployment poverty and migration, which left these children helpless, homeless and hopeless. Malnourishment and ignorance minimized the chances of employment or a bright future for these youngsters. Don Bosco, a young catholic priest, began a centre to gather these boys. He called it “Oratory”. He later began to offer these boys shelter, literacy and trade skills. Gradually many recognized his work and came to support him. Slowly the boys’ self respect and self confidence were built up and they turned out to be responsible and useful members of the society. This was the inspiration behind the work for street children in Delhi. THE ORIGIN The Salesian venture for the Street Children of New Delhi begun in 1996. Don Bosco Ashalayam, “Home of Hope” started in January 1997 in a small rented house in Bindapur, Uttam Nagar. Fr. Thaiparambil Anthony pioneered this work to protect the young at risk who gathered around the New Delhi Railway Station. Fr. Antony did a lot of work in contacting other NGO’s and establishing the network of contacts for the growth and development of Ashalayam. As the work grew and the number of children increased, a new building was constructed at Palam Gaon. The building work was supervised by Fr. Sebastian Jose who later became the director of the centre in May 1999. It was blessed on 27th November 1999 by Most. Rev. Alan de Lastic, Archbishop of Delhi and inaugurated by Fr. Giovanni Fedrigotti, the Extraordinary Visitor. The civic function was presided over by Mrs. Sheila Dikshit, the Chief Minister of Delhi. The house was canonically erected on 4 June 2003. His work developed into a movement called Ashalayam to protect children from our present day society by offering them possibilities to blossom in an environment that assures acceptance security, love, and hope. The very word “Ashalayam”, in Sanskrit means, “A Home of Hope” and it really emphasizes on meeting the needs of the homeless and helpless children, more than just a shelter.Who We Are:
Don Bosco Ashalayam, a part of the global network of the Salesians of Don Bosco, is a New Delhi- Palam based, Non-Government, Non-Profit, Non-Political, Social, Charitable Organization Registered under Societies' Registration Act, 1860. It is a licensed children's home (a Home of Hope) for Children: In need of Care and Protection (Street Children, Orphans, Homeless, Abandoned, Unaccompanied, Neglected, Missing/Run Away, Lost & Found, Children found begging, Trafficking Children, Child Laborers, Marginalised Youth etc.).
Our Guiding Principles
• Every human person is created in the image of God. • Everyone has the right to one’s dignity and respect. • Christian values urge us to have an option for the poor and marginalized.
• Following Don Bosco we have a preferential option for the young.
Building the dreams and shaping the lives of the Young at Risk for a just and humane society
• Empower the Young at Risk to be agents of personal and social transformation through a participatory approach.
• Provide positive environments that will prevent exploitation and neglect.
• Accompany the young at risk in their struggle to grow to fullness in freedom and Humanness Network with like-minded individuals and groups to provide effective support to the Young at Risk.
• Advocacy efforts at national and international levels to uphold the rights of the Young at Risk.
Our Target Group
Our focus is generally on children between 6 to 18 years of age who are at risk on the street and in child labor. It extends its services to rag pickers, coolies, shoe shines, construction workers, street vendors, parking boys, lottery ticket sellers, begging children, and other young at risk.
Street presence entails us to be with the child/youth on the street whether he/she is working. It is an active presence. The street educator intervenes to activate the positive forces to reduce the dehumanizing situations.
• A child has rights but due to age constraints is unable to claim his/her rights. Ashalayam therefore plays a vital role in protecting and promoting the rights of children. We help the children to understand what they have not been able to resolve and make them aware of their own rights and duties.
• We invite them to our Children's Home/ Shelter home, on request, admit them to our homes.
• This stage takes place once the children become sure that there is a better place than the nastiness and misery of the street. They are assisted to build up personal hygiene, proper dressing habits, and hale and hearty habits. Providing them love and guidance, instilling self-respect through clean route, civil performance, and developing their sense of responsibility.
• We give the children the option of either Formal/Non-Formal or Vocational training. If they want and are capable, they can proceed for higher studies. It helps the children to bring out their talents and later on earn an honest livelihood.
The children learn to earn from the workshops by selling their crafts, spend a portion of their earnings and save the rest. We personally scrutinize their progress through regular visits to their places. After the age of eighteen, the young adults are placed in rented homes, where they learn to produce for themselves and stand on their own feet.
• In the last and final stage the children have turn out to be responsible citizens. He has the freedom to choose his style of life. As self dependent and contributing citizens they go into society. Thus our efforts to transform Don Bosco’s legacy of love into action on behalf of the young at risk is attained.
On 10.08.2018, On the occasion of Independence Day celebration, staff of Don Bosco Ashalayam in coordination with Childline south west conducted a street play at Jain Public school and Jain model public school. Theme for the play was to create awareness on the works of Childline and how it helps children who are in need of protection, care and proper guidance. Childline is going to conduct plays throughout the month of August to aware children about various mishaps and the proper way to take help from Childline.Read More
On 24.08.2018, Students from Our Lady of Fatima School Gurgaon visited Don Bosco Ashalayam to celebrate Raksha Bandhan with the boys. Boys sang welcome song for the girls. They came here in the afternoon and spoke about the significance of the day and the value of Raksha Bandhan. Soon after they tied rakhis to the boys and gave them gifts. Boys thanked the guests and sang thank you song for them.
On 15.08.2018, Don Bosco Ashalayam family gathered in the courtyard to celebrate Independence Day. Chief Guest for the day was the Departmental head of the Rotary Club Brigadier (Retd.) B.K Chhiber. The Indian flag was hoisted at 7:00am in the morning by Fr. Kuriakose. All the Boys marched past for the day. Br. Jeremaya welcomed all the guests and gave the introductory speech. Children both from Ashalayam and Snehalaya showcased their talents through cultural program. Prize distribution for Summer Camp was done afterwards and Team “Bomblast” won the first prize with a cash prize of Rs 4500/- only. Snacks were distributed to the children and the staff. Children enjoyed very much and had a great time.Read More