Savio Navjeevan Bal Bhawan is a child friendly home, at Talanagri, Aligarh, under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Agra, started by Fr. Jose Akkara, an Agra Archdiocesan priest, on 31st August, 2005. Initially it was in a make-shift accommodation, then shifted to a friend’s vacant house at E-19, Ektanagar, Aligarh. Later the said house was purchased by the Archdiocese. After a few years, number of children increased and that accommodation became inadequate for 50 growing up children. So in 2007 the Most Rev Dr Albert D’souza, the Archbishop of Agra, gave permission and released funds to build a proper building with adequate facilities at Talanagri, St. Fidelis Campus, Ramghat Road, Aligarh. The ground floor of the building was constructed and ready for use by the end of June 2010. Then the whole set up at E-19, Ektanagar was shifted to Talanagari on 10th July 2010. Most of these children are attending regular school and preparing themselves for a bright future.
In keeping with the law of the land, this institution was registered under Juvenile Justice (care & protection of children) Act 2000 from women and child development ministry, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh in 2012. We work in collaboration with Government departments of the district dealing with child development and protection.
This noble venture of catering to the socially marginalized, neglected, abandonment, homeless, sent-out, discarded, oppressed, downtrodden, street children, is being run under the guidance and support of Most. Rev. Dr Albert D’souza, the archbishop of Agra. He remains as our patron and his vision and mission help us to continue with this ministry with great enthusiasm and vigor. We owe our love and respect to him.
Thus, we march ahead to love and work among the children who call the street their home, to give them a new, enriched life. This is a social reformation or upliftment of the downtrodden and socially neglected children. Everybody look down upon these littleones who are less privileged, whose faces mirror dark despair, loneliness and loss of hope. So, our motto is to touch more lives than ever before by looking at life through the eyes of a street child. In defense of a child “Savio Navjeevan Bal Bhawan”, courageously go ahead holding hands of every child who might be drifting away from the well knit social fabric that is bound to provide security, direction and progress.
As an out-reach programme, we have launched a new venture with the name “Savio Navjeevan Open Shelter” at E-19, Ekta Nagar, Aligarh on 1st May, 2015. Here, we cater to 25 children in need of care and protection particularly beggars, child substance abusers, street and working children, rag pickers, small vendors, street performers, orphaned, deserted, trafficked and run-away children, children of migrant population, children living in unauthorized areas/slums, children of marginalized groups and any other vulnerable group of children. They are welcomed to this open shelter at any time of the day; here they are free to go and come. This flexible mechanism of open shelter is catering to the unique needs of these children and aims to harness their talent and potential, thus giving them the opportunity to become productive citizens. In the long term, the aim is to make them self-reliant, aware and wean them away from street life and dysfunctional behaviours. We are permitted to run this Open Shelter by the U.P Government vide its letter no. 2362-65 म० क० निदे०/प्रोबे०/खुला आश्रय गृह/ 2014-15, dated 13th March 2015.
Savio Navjeevan Open Shelter contribute to the improvement in the well-being of children in difficult circumstances as well as to the reduction of vulnerabilities to situation and action that lead to abuse, neglect, exploitation, abandonment and separation of children.
“Savio Navjeevan”draws its inspiration from the words of Jesus: “ in truth I tell you, in so far as you fed the hungry, gave water to the thirsty, welcomed the stranger, clothed the naked, visited the sick, went to meet the prisoner, you did them all to me.” These children who are wandering on the streets, railway platforms and train compartments are without food (hungry), without shelter (homeless), without dress (naked), but they too are children of God and we perceive God incarnate- Jesus in them which enables and strengthens us to do the very best for them.