Chandni, 16, is the proud chief-editor of Balaknama, meaning "Children’s Chronicle," a newspaper by street children in New Delhi, India.
There are 20 million homeless children in India who either live on the streets or in slums. Many of these children have run away from families because they were beaten or sexually abused. Tragically, their homelessness usually leads to further abuse.
New Delhi's slum population is one of the most neglected segments of society in India and the life of these children is incredibly tough. Exposed to the harsh realities of life, most of the children spend their childhood working arduous jobs for negligible daily wages. They often fall victim to the local mafia, police brutality, drugs and sex abuse.
In such an environment, an NGO called Chetna became their survivor. Tapping into the children’s extreme potential, they turned New Delhi’s street urchins into amateur journalists and reporters for Balaknama, a quarterly newspaper.
The video shows their motivation; despite having day jobs, such as washing cars or collecting trash, these children still find the time to write.
The children, often working menial jobs or begging around the city, come up with topics and stories, interview people and write stories for the newspaper by themselves.
They don’t get paid for their writing but are compensated for travel and research.
Surely, this endeavor must be doing wonders for their confidence, enlightenment and self-worth.