‘Bal’ means child and ‘Jeevan’ means life. Thus Bal Jeevan translates as giving life to a child. Founded in 1994, Bal Jeevan are trying to make a small difference in the vast city of Mumbai. They recognise that the emotional well-being of a child is as important as the educational development and they now care for 110 impoverished street children in a municipal school. A package of meals, education, extracurricular activities, and emotional support is provided for these vulnerable children. Young girls are often brought up as the inferior child with the sole purpose of getting married and having children. Bal Jeevan ensures that counsellors spend time with these girls to help them cope, aiming to give all of them the opportunity to empower themselves with knowledge and choice.
PAWA began supporting Bal Jeevan in 2014 and has been funding 19 girls from the ages of 13 to 16 years annually ever since. The first year saw the 19 girls receive extra tuition in computer skills, English, Maths, and Science as well as nutritious meals and access to a doctor. Over the years extracurricular and vocational skills have also been available through PAWA funds. Bal Jeevan are proud that ex-students are flourishing in fields such as sports, coaching, computer training, real estate, baking and training in the kitchens of 5 star hotels.
With the Covid 19 lock down all students have been studying online and PAWA has supported the use of mobile phones where essential for online study and weekly food rations for needy girls and families.