Five students from universities across the UK are completing a five day internship at Udayan Care. We are a part of the UKIERI Study India Programme and have come to India to learn about its culture, economy and future. On our first day we were given an introduction to Udayan Care and were struck by the number of great projects they are running which are changing the lives of young people across India. According to UNICEF, there are currently 31 million orphaned children across the country and this problem is made worse by a shortage of orphanages and very low adoption rates. This is why the work done at Udayan Care is so important because it gives children an education and a future where otherwise they may live in poverty.
At the end of our first day we were taken to visit one of Udayan Care’s projects in Delhi. The Udayan Ghars project provides a safe and loving environment for children aged 6 upwards who have either lost their parents or whose families are unable to take care of them. This project started seventeen years ago with just 3 children but today has expanded to include 13 homes all across India caring for more than 280 children. The unique aspect of the Udayan Ghars is that they provide complete care for the children, ensuring they receive a good education, take part in extra-curricular activities and maintain good physical and mental health. The children are also assigned mentors who voluntarily give up their time to offer advice and spend time with the children. When the children reach the age of 18 they then have the option of moving into an After Care facility which aids them during the transition to an independent life. Many of the children who have resided in an Udayan Ghars home have gone on to have successful careers or university lives.
We visited two of the homes in Delhi and met many of the children and helpers who live there. It was a great experience and reinforced how important and life-changing the work done at Udayan Care is. Both houses are fully equipped with everything needed for a safe and loving life and everyone was so friendly and welcoming. It is great to know that Udayan Care hope to open a number of new Ghars by the year 2017 which would extend the benefits they provide to over 500 children.
Our first day at Udayan Care has given us an insight into the need for NGOs like this and the fantastic work that is being done here. We look forward to meeting some of the children again tomorrow.