14 year old Fardeen was 11 when he first came to Delhi to look for a job, and a good life. He was sold off to a factory and illegally employed in child labour. But he is not alone. Currently, 1 in 11 children in India are working as child labour, with more than half of the 5.5 million working children in India concentrated in five states alone — Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Bachpan Bachao Andolan, which was established in 1980 by Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, has been protecting the rights of children like Fardeen, by saving them from exploitation and providing them a new life. Hundreds of children have been saved since its inception from vices like illegal sex work, forced labour, etc. Children like Fardeen are kept in Mukti Ashram, where they are provided immediate support and access to services like food, clothing, shelter, medical aid and psychological and legal assistance.