Friends of Salaam Baalak Trust (Friends of SBT) is a UK registered charity
Here's how we support street children in India:
Primarily through supporting the work of raising funds for Salaam Baalak Trust (SBT) itself in Delhi and its beneficiaries
By raising awareness of street children’s issues in the UK
Through making it easier for those in the UK and outside of India to support, volunteer, raise funds for or remain connected with SBT
By operating entirely with volunteers, we can ensure that donors' generosity is not wasted on administration, salaries or other overheads in the UK.
Salaam Baalak Trust
Salaam Baalak Trust (SBT) is a leading Indian NGO, set up in 1988 after the success of Mira Nair's film Salaam Bombay. It started with a contact point at New Delhi station with three members of staff and about 20 children. More than 30 years on, social workers at the same contact point meet about 1,000 new children a year within hours or days of them arriving at the station. SBT has grown steadily in response to overwhelming need and now has 6 shelter homes (4 for boys, 2 for girls) and a mobile school that visits slum areas. It runs programmes in education, healthcare, mental health, sports and the arts. From an initial focus on runaway children, they now also work with street-living families and in total, their staff reach out to about 6,000 children a year.
Salaam Baalak Trust
Friends of Salaam Baalak Trust (FoSBT) was set up in 2009 as a UK registered charity by a small group of people in London who had been inspired by the work of Salaam Baalak Trust in Delhi. Our aims are to raise funds for street children and awareness of the issues they face. As a small organisation with almost no overheads, we operate solely from volunteers so virtually every penny we raise goes directly to street and working children. Most of it is routed through SBT itself, and its use overseen by the Friends of SBT trustees. At other times, we fund directly an individual child's needs or the requirements of a particular centre.
Several of the Friends of SBT Trustees and early 'Friends' are current or former volunteers with SBT in Delhi, who were determined that our support for the street children whose world we had visited should not come to an end on simply because we had to return to the UK. Our experiences with the children at various shelter homes in Delhi touched us, changed our perspectives and left us hungry for more. With the support of others with experience in the voluntary sector, and of the founders of SBT in India, the idea for an official UK organisation came about as a way to celebrate 20 years since SBT (the inspiration for FoSBT) first started to coax children off the unforgiving streets of India's capital and into an environment in which they could hope to lead meaningful lives.
Nidhi works as a banker in London and is a published author. Whilst studying Mathematics in Delhi she spent several months teaching Maths to some of the boys at Apna Ghar shelter home. She found the experience very enriching and was so inspired by SBT's work that she refused to claim the expenses she was owed. Nidhi's enthusiasm to help and do more for the children was instrumental in the formation of Friends of SBT with Nick. She has also been known to express herself in poetry!
Nick is a partner at a firm of notaries in London. In 2006 he went on a 'City Walk' tour with one of SBT's graduate ex-street kids (now a tour guide, obviously), was strongly impressed by what he saw, returned to volunteer the following year before founding Friends of SBT alongside Nidhi in 2009. Nick now manages to escape from his documents whenever possible (pre-pandemic, about 4 months each year) to live in Delhi, do a variety of work with street children and strengthen the relationship between SBT & FoSBT.
Steve is Director & co-founder of Jasmar Associates, a former KPMG Director and has a background in retail operations. Having worked with a number of charities in recent years, aiming to bridge the gap between the corporate and charitable worlds, Steve was introduced to the work of SBT when he joined the 'City Walk' in Delhi with his wife and two sons. Inspired by that, he ran the London Marathon raising funds SBT before joining as a Trustee in 2018. Hobbies include anything on two wheels.
After many years' experience as a GP in Scotland, including in deprived areas, Justin has recently retired. With his wife, he spends much of his time volunteering in India and Myanmar on health-related projects. They prefer to return to the same organisations each year to deepen the ties and try to ensure continuity in the work. Together with Nick Thompson, he has committed to visiting Delhi at least once a year (pre-pandemic) to assess developments and give feedback to Trustees and supporters in the UK.