The panel on ‘Society & Street Children’ will speak out its heart about what is not going in favour of street children in India. India is home for more then 4 million street children who live in most abusive conditions and are seen in every corner of cities trying to get tuned to the hardships of life alone and shattered. The perception of society, whether in favour of street children or not, will be a difficult dialogue among speakers who have already given the best part of their lives fighting for the rights of Street Children and are known for their bold stands. The dare discussion will give a ray of hope and practical solutions to ensure that these valuable children are main-streamed in society as citizens with dignity.
Bhagyashri Dengle is a development professional with over 25 years of experience in the field of development especially in the areas of Institution building, governance and child centered community development. Bhagyashri began her career as a social worker in the disability sector. Later she worked with CASP (Community Aid and Sponsorship Programme), a national organization working for rights of underprivileged children. While at CASP, as a Joint Executive Director she worked on major programs on Maternal and Child Health, HIV prevention and adolescent health in partnership with USAID, McArthur Foundation, Pathfinder International, FHI etc.
She joined Plan India as an Executive Director in 2004 where she was instrumental in not only setting up the national entity of Plan in India but expanding its operations and reach across 14 states and a million children. At Plan India, Bhagyashri is responsible for the over all development and management of the organization which includes setting strategies, measuring progress, leveraging resources, building partnerships and alliances and advocacy on issues affecting rights of children.
Sanjay Gupta is an Engineer turned social worker, director of NGO Childhood Enhancement through Training and Action (CHETNA) that works for empowerment of 10000 Street and Working children in India’s capital Delhi and neighboring states. In his leadership CHETNA has grown as very reputed and credible organization that has dedicated 14 years to showcase and replicable models that has got national and international acknowledgements. He is well known for his innovations and media friendly image. He motivated street children to form their own federation called “Badthe -Kadam”(Stepping forward). This federation is now almost independent and well known for publishing first of its kind unique newspaper called “Balak Nama” (children’s voice). He brings wide experience on children issues in general and street and working children in particular. He has been awarded young’s achiever award by prestigious Outlook Magazine, in 2005 and is member of executive council and national board member of National Action Coordination Group (NACG) that is part of South Asia Initiative to end Violence against Children (SAIEVAC). He has travelled around 10 European and Asian countries and participated in various international consultations at Geneva, London, Sri Lanka etc as resource person. His passionate working style gave CHETNA a new boost in year 2011, when a project called Realizing Rights was launched with support of Hope for Children, Consortium for Street Children and Comic Relief. The project has been able to raise issue of right of identity, dignity, participation, of Street Children. He is member of various committees setup by Government of India and National Commission for protection of Rights of Children. His most recent achievement is his engagement with Indian Corporate Hub, who is seeking his advice on how to initiate corporate social responsibility initiatives.
Surina Narula is President of the Consortium for Street Children and previously been Co-Chair and Trustee – a network of over sixty five UK based development agencies.She has in the last twenty five years organised numerous events to raise money for their support and more importantly to raise the profile of street children at an international level. She is a trustee of PHIA (partnering hope into action) and Chairman of TVE South Asia. She is the founder sponsor and festival advisor for the Jaipur Literature Festival. She was on the Board of Directors for Plan International UK, and is Patron for Plan India and Honorary Patron of Plan USA and a Patron for Hope for Children. She has received various awards for her contribution to street children charities and in 2003 was highly commended for The Beacon Prize in recognition of her outstanding contribution to charitable and social causes. In recognition of her charity work she was presented with the Asian of the Year Award in 2005. In June 2008 awarded an MBE for charitable work in India. She is founder for Tve Awards and co founder of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature.