Karm Marg

There are 300,000 homeless children living on the streets of New Delhi. Some children have been abandoned by their families, others have been orphaned, some have run away. Almost all street children — boys and girls — have suffered sexual abuse or rape.

Karm Marg Children at PlayKarm Marg children at play

Karm Marg was started in 1997 to help the children and young adults for whom Delhi Railway Station was home. The founders of Karm Marg, Veena and Dev, quickly realised when working with the railway children that though they are often depicted as poor and defenceless, in reality they are tough and resilient — with a great capacity for transcending their circumstances. Therefore Karm Marg was set up to be run by the children themselves as their own home with guidance from adults.

Making candles at Karm MargMaking candles at Karm Marg

The 56 children of Karm Marg are now raising 60% of the funds needed to keep their home going by their own work. After school they learn skills such as screen-printing, metal-working, paper- making, pottery and sewing.

Karm Marg’s Jugaad™ products at a recent market stall in DelhiKarm Marg’s Jugaad™ products at a recent market stall in Delhi

Candle holders, handbags, Yoga mat bags, silk-screen cards and mobile phone bags are only some of the craft items made by Karm Marg children. The children have now created their own label, Jugaad™ — which means ‘something made from nothing’ — because many of their products are put together from scraps and discarded materials which the children recycle.

Karm Marg’s new school bus funded by the Mukti ProjectKarm Marg’s new school bus funded by the Mukti Project

All of Karm Marg’s children either attend school or receive regular skills training on site, including those with learning difficulties who attend special schools. In 2004 and 2005 MUKTI donated a total of £31,457 to Karm Marg for school fees, the purchase of a school bus, and running costs.

This spring MUKTI is producing a DVD about Karm Marg so that everyone can witness the creativity of its children.