SATHI is an Indian non-profit organization primarily working with young children who have run away from their homes or are separated from their families and end up on railway stations. SATHI's work involves rescuing runaway and separated children from railway platforms, providing them with shelter-care, guidance and counselling and eventually making an attempt to reunite the child back with its family.
Create a safe, secure and nurtured environment for runaway and separated children within the child protection system from the grassroots to national level, so that the children can develop holistically with self-confidence, self-worth and dignity.
How we started
SATHI’s story is unique, in that, it began working with children rather unintentionally.
In 1992, an organization called Prerana had been working with farmers in North Karnataka’s Raichur district. The organization was approached by a young woman, who had completed her post-graduation and was passionate about taking care of under-privileged children. Prerana offered its office as a shelter for these children, who were mostly living on Raichur railway station.
Over the next 3 to 4 years, the activities with the children expanded and included recreational activities including picnics, skill training programs such as cycle-repair, screen printing and so on. Although the attempts to place them in jobs met limited success, the engagement with children continued. After a family adopted one child, we realized that many of these children were not abandoned by their families, but had opted to ‘flee’ because of certain reasons (which in most cases were not very serious) without actually thinking of the consequences.
The concept of ‘restoration’ or ‘home-placement’ of children thus began to take shape. Ground research revealed that the parents are also distraught when the child leaves; and they often attempt to search the child without any leads. There was a zeal within the team members to work on this issue in a dedicated manner and a new organization was carved out of Prerana. SATHI was born.
Founded in 1992, SATHI was formally registered in 1997 in Raichur, Karnataka. With the growth of the organization and expansion of work, SATHI moved its head office to Bangalore. Over the years, SATHI has worked in more than 40 different locations in 14 states across India and has helped nearly 60,000 children reunite with their families.
Tracing the 25 year journey
SATHI continued to work with Raichur as a base until the year 2000. During this phase, the work was restricted to Raichur and Wadi in Karnataka and Guntakal in Andhra Pradesh.
From 2000 to 2006, the work expanded to cover other locations in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. The year 2000 also marked the beginning of SATHI's work in Government Children Homes.
The year 2006 marked a new phase in SATHI's history, when it began to expand its geographical spread across the country through collaborations with other NGOs. Between 2006 and 2010, SATHI collaborated with more than 30 different organizations and covered railway stations in 10 states including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh.
SATHI also started independent work in Uttar Pradesh from 2008 and in Delhi from 2010 onwards. The geographical presence of SATHI shrunk between 2012 and 2014. Nevertheless, it was in 2011 that SATHI was granted an Open Shelter under ICPS by the Govt. of Karnataka - the first instance of direct funding from the government for its work.
In 2015, SATHI expanded its geographical spread yet again to cover 15 locations in 11 states. The year 2016-17 saw SATHI reaching out to more than 10,500 children - the highest number of children helped by SATHI in a single year in its 25 year journey.