An Indian newspaper is giving a voice to the children who live in slums by appointing them as reporters.
The newspaper, namely, ‘Balaknama’, is run by children from the slums in Delhi
Translated as ‘Voice of Children’.
This paper is run and edited by street children, many of whom are former drug addicts despite their young, tender age.
The paper currently employs 70 reporters across seven areas – street children who are often illiterate or in the early stages of learning to write.
Currently, there are 14 official reporters for the newspaper. They give feed back, leads and stories to the 14-strong team of senior reporters.
The newspaper’s editor, Chandni, 18, was a street entertainer and a rag picker, said.
“Balaknama is a newspaper of street and working children. Its first edition came out in 2003.
The paper is published by street and working kids only, and only they are responsible for its reporting, editing and publishing.
These young reporters are proud of what they do.
Jyoti, who was a beggar on the streets of Delhi, is now proud to call herself as a ‘news reporter’.
“I used to make money before joining this newspaper by begging on the roads and stealing money from people. But that’s not the life I wanted. I wanted to prove myself and by joining this paper I have stopped taking drugs and now I am a proud reporter.”