Street children as tour guides to slums | india | Hindustan Times
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Street children as tour guides to slums

Javed Khan left his village home at the age of nine to see monuments in New Delhi where the bustling railway station was to be home for the next seven years.

india Updated: May 13, 2006 12:41 IST
AFP

Javed Khan left his village home at the age of nine to see monuments in New Delhi where the bustling railway station was to be home for the next seven years.

During that time, Khan lived in an empty sewer and went without food for five days. Today, his former lifestyle is part of a guided tour that takes tourists through the chaos of the area around the railway station, home to around 2,500 young runaways.

The two-hour tour, launched two months ago is the brainchild of Salaam Baalak Trust, a charity for homeless children. Leftover newspapers are traded for medicine to treat injuries from police beatings.

Discarded fruit is given to juice stall owners to use in exchange for a place to sleep on the shops’ tin roofs away from the police’s sight. All these anecdotes are part of the tour which costs Rs 200 per head.

These guides have now become role models for others.