Kids are the future, and I love hearing about kids who are making a difference – whether to their own lives or to other people’s lives. It’s even better when kids show responsibility and initiative that’s sadly lacking in a lot of adults. These street kids in Old Delhi, India, have taken it upon themselves to do what adults/authorities were either unable or unwilling to do for them.
In Child’s play: Indian street youth develop model banking system RT tells how a group of kids in a shelter for homeless children in New Delhi run a branch of the children’s development khazana (Indian for ‘treasure’) that serves around 9,000 street children across South Asia and has 77 branches. The bank provides a safe place for their earnings and allows them to take out loans. The kids have a monthly meeting where they review applications for advances; based on clients’ track records of saving and earning, they decide who will receive an advance and how long they can take to pay it back.
“In a time when many people would argue that the global financial system is on the brink of collapse and that the system itself might be fundamentally flawed, it seems like these teenagers from the streets of New Delhi have the whole thing figured out. They hold everyone from the account managers to the clients accountable for their financial decisions,” says the RT report.
An RT reader, commenting on the report, said, “We are so aware of all our flaws and all the things that could go wrong in our lives. These kids are such an inspiration. We can truly be anyone and anything we want to, if we’re ready to accept ourselves and embrace life the way these kids have. This story brought a smile through the tears.”
In a blog post, Down and out in Delhi, on UNICEF’s Voices of Youth website, Andy Brown describes a visit to the shelter and the bank.
Read more about Butterflies, the charity that runs the shelter, here.