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Stealing the show in innovative costumes

At Mumbai Marathon, Salaam Bombay Foundation children dress up to represent its unique programmes

Mumbai, 21st January, 2018: A child sporting the cutout of a mobile phone, some wearing masks representing the symbol of theatre, some carrying a dhol, some wearing chef hats -- all this and more is how children of the NGO Salaam Bombay Foundation came dressed when they participated in the Mumbai Marathon on Sunday, January 21. The innovative costumes of the children – all of whom belong to underprivileged families living in Mumbai’s slums -- were a fascinating visual representation of the NGO’s programmes. Each of the outfits represented particular skills that Salaam Bombay Foundation teaches through its modules to the children to empower them for a brighter and robust future. The mobile phone was a mark of the organisation’s mobile repairing course, the masks depicted its Theatre Academy, the dhol projected the Arts Academy while the chef’s hat represented its Bakery courses. Many other creative costumes made for more fascinating sights and spoke about the NGO’s unique programmes.

Through its skills initiative,Salaam Bombay Foundation aims to equip the underprivileged children with skills necessary for improved employment upon completion of school. While government programmes focus on the primary or above 18 age group, Salaam Bombay Foundation is one of the few NGOs that works for children in the age group of 11 to 17 when they are at their most vulnerable. This is the time when many of them are forced to drop out of school and are more susceptible to serious issues like substance abuse -- especially tobacco.Skill development in school motivates students to stay in school. The skills developed lead to apprenticeships that enable students to contribute to fluctuating family incomes without dropping out, and/or contribute towards their own education. Alumni of these programmes are better placed compared to their peers to explore careers they otherwise did not know existed or be gainfully employed upon graduation.  This year, more than 100 children from Salaam Bombay Foundation participated in the Mumbai Marathon-- the largest of its kind in Asia. The Foundation believes that a child in school has a future.

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