About Us Contact Us Help




In Conversation With Shanti Muthu

Nirmala Garimella

It is estimated that there are over 10 million child bonded laborers in the world, essentially modern day slaves.  Children who have been separated from their parents, trapped in grueling and hazardous labor, deprived of freedom, love, education and play.

Shanti Muthu lives in Providence, Rhode Island and was introduced to the organization BBA four years ago when she and her daughter researched about child slavery and came across the Bachpan Bachao Andolan or BBA. Curiosity and a determination to help spurred them to  attend a conference in 2006 in Delhi held by the group. Attending the various sessions run mostly by rescued children they were touched and delighted to see the progress, the confidence and self esteem of these young adults. Speaking on the mission Shanti elaborated,” Most of these children are returned to their parents and are given a choice of going through a 6 month long term rehabilitation program. This helps them integrate back into the society. Kids are given leadership training, introduced to the labor laws to make them aware, why it is important to be literate and to eliminate their poverty etc. Most of the time the rules exist but are not implemented and they come to know a lot of these things which empowers them.

 A volunteer group worked along with Shanti  and started as a grass roots effort with programs such as “Pennies for Freedom” and “Save a Can.Save a Child” to raise funds for the BBA. By collecting empty soda cans & bottles they redeem them to generate funds for rehabilitation of the rescued child slaves. They also spread awareness of the children's plight and sought help from public for the cause.  In November 2009, the group organized a day long fundraiser for BBA in Providence, RI. Called the ‘Wonder that is India’ the event had cultural, social and fun activities related to India while raising awareness of the movement.

 The group now is holding its first big fundraiser ‘Celebration for Freedom  a benefit concert on May 8th at the Marlborough Marriott to increase awareness and raise money to abolish the enslavement of children.  Specifically they are fundraising for Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement - BBA), a non-profit, grass roots, direct-action people's movement working to end child slavery in India. The urgent need for a girls rehabilitation center motivated and inspired us to create Celebration for Freedom - a benefit concert in the Boston/Metro-West area”, says Shanti Muthu. There is an urgent need to create a Balika (Girls) Ashram, a rehabilitation center for rescued girls.  Rescued girls require a different kind of care and nurturing. Hence, BBA is in the process of developing such a center in Rajasthan, India.  The proceeds from this benefit concert will be directed towards the creation of the Balika (Girls) Ashram.

A software engineer by training, Shanti Muthu  transitioned to a full time involvement with Yoga, dance therapy, Samskrtam (Sanskrit), and vegetarian cooking lessons.She organizes many service projects for the youth groups and conducts classes for children. She is also involved in Bharatanatyam and is in touch with the rich art form, through choreography, learning, teaching and performances, for the past 34 years.

(The links to the event to support Shanti's cause are:


Contacts : Shanthi    401-490-0200
                 Steve      401-477-9059

About BBA

Founded in 1980, BBA’s mission is to identify, liberate, rehabilitate and educate children in servitude, through direct intervention, community participation, and coalition building with corporations, governmental and non-governmental organizations. To date, BBA has rescued over 78,000 child laborers and educated 50,000 children. 


In 1998, BBA opened the Bal Ashram in Rajasthan, India; a rehabilitation center that provides a safe space for the nurture and education of rescued boys.  The creation of the Bal Ashram, resulted in the transformation of over 60 villages in its vicinity into child-friendly villages.

For more info go to www.bba.org.in.The founder, Kailash also started the Global march against child labour. www.globalmarch.org


Bookmark and Share |

You may also access this article through our web-site http://www.lokvani.com/

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Copyrights Help