About Pratham Council for Vulnerable Children

Pratham Council for Vulnerable Children (PCVC) started in Mumbai in 2001 as Pratham’s Outreach Program in order access to the most vulnerable and deprived children in disadvantaged communities in Mumbai with the mission of “Every Child’s Rights Protected, Every Child in School and Learning Well.”

Today, we have programs in eight states – Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana – covering around 50,000 marginalized children (e.g. working children, street children, abused children, children with disability etc.) annually in urban and rural areas through direct programs such as Drop-in-Centres, Educational Support Classes, Residential Shelters, Child Rights Protection Desks, Focus City-Block Interventions, Health and Disability initiatives etc. Additionally, we reach over 200,000 children annually through child rights awareness sessions in schools, communities and villages.

Over the years, PCVC has become increasingly influential in the political scene vis-à-vis Child Rights Protection and has contributed to important improvements in legislation and policies. Other activities include being a nodal agency for Childline 1098 in certain States, collaboration with Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan initiatives, working closely with the Labour, Education, and Police Departments to eradicate child labour and working with stakeholders to strengthen implementation of the Right To Education (RTE) Act across India. Pratham is committed to ensuring that every child has access to quality education and we at PCVC are aspiring towards creating a society where every child is educated, free from exploitation and protected.

Inter-state Connections

Initially, PCVC started as the Child Labour unit focusing on under aged working children in Mumbai. During this period, PCVC gained immense traction in terms of curtailing child labour in Mumbai and also facilitated the formation of the Special Task Force under the Government of Maharashtra. This partnership resulted in widespread combined efforts to mitigate child labour – mass raids were conducted in various urban communities where children were found typically working extremely long and gruelling hours with or without pay and facing some form of physical abuse. Through these rescues, as well as through dialogue with local employers of zari, textile, jewelry, and leather factories, we were able to establish a strong presence of children coming from other states to Mumbai for work. These children came from states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat etc. Hence, we expanded our work to these states in order to curb the problem at its root. Over the years, we have been able to draw connections between states where children come from and the specific industry they work in.


PCVC Programs :

PCVC has spread its operations across 8 states in the country namely, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. We offer unique programs depending upon the overall picture of out of school and working children in each state. Following are a list of PCVC programs that we undertake across states:-

● Prevention, Raid, Rescue, Repatriation and Tracking

The central and most integral functions of PCVC are that of awareness, prevention, raid, repatriation and tracking of child labourers. Out of school children, children with disabilities and child labourers are identified in the community and further steps for intervention are taken for their welfare. In case of child labourers, notice is issued to the employers and owners from PCVC as well as Police so that the children are repatriated back through the mode of convincing. The next step conducting raids where children are rescued from their place of employment. These children are generally in the age-group of 6-15 years old. Once rescued, they are repatriated to their home states and regularly tracked by our team.

● Child Rights Protection Desk

Through the Child Rights Help Desk, we can reach to the most vulnerable of children. This desk is placed at specific locations of the community twice a week for easy access for the community people. Children and even community members and adults can register their grievances at the desk. Immediate intervention is provided and regular follow-up of all cases is maintained.

● Disability Program

Many cases of children with disabilities are received through our prevention work in the community as well as through our community centers and child rights protection desk. Apart from conducting individual case and need based intervention, health and medical check-up camps are organized which help in providing children with artificial limbs, physiotherapy and related medical assistance by partnering with expert organizations in this field. An important role is played by the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) for the enrollment of children with special needs in schools. We also help in providing counseling and after-care for these children through the help of medical professionals.

● Child Rights Sessions in Schools

Regular informative and interactive sessions on Child Rights and Child Sexual Abuse are conducted in Government and Private schools in the community. Sessions are conducted with children from class 5th-10th. Sessions are conducted in minimum 3-5 schools in each of the areas we work in. Informative brochures and posters are handed out and displayed at central locations in the school so that children and teachers are made aware of these issues. We also have a counselor who, if need be, children can speak to in order to share any grievances.

● Community Centre

A community centre as the name suggests is a place where a myriad of education and child rights based activities are conducted under one roof for children between the age-group of 6-14 years. This serves as a long term program to gain visibility and momentum in the communities we work in. It also functions as a full time grievance redressal mechanism and support where issues related to children and their education and overall development will be highlighted and redressed as well as those of the community people. Various programs like support classes, out of school remedial classes, interactive games, library, reading room, music and dance classes etc. will be conducted here. Apart from this, interactive and informative workshops and meetings are arranged for children and their parents.

● Residential Shelter

Over the years, PCVC has rescued thousands of child labourers and repatriated them back to their home states. These are mainly boys. In many of the states we have realized the need for a residential shelter for them as a model for the state which proves that even these children can perform well academically as well as do well in their lives if given the right push and opportunities in life. We were running a residential shelter for boys in Mumbai, Jodhpur and Baharaich as a model for the state to replicate. We had children from the shelter who have performed very well academically, have joined the armed forces, have made music their career and many such opportunities in life. Currently, we have residential shelter in Uttarakhand and Bapatla in Andhra Pradesh.

● Our Girls Our Pride

Education is a serious issue that concerns everyone in society. It is our children who are in most need of education so that they have a secure future. The problem further persists among vulnerable children. Their vulnerability may arise out of poor economic conditions, inadequate health conditions, difficult family backgrounds, minority or backward communities etc. Out of these, many girls from our society have never had the opportunity to step into a school. For us, these are the girls that need most support and we believe that they have the power to rise above just like the rest of their counterparts. Keeping this in mind we are supporting the education of around 1000 vulnerable girls across the 8 states India we work in. These girls are rag-pickers or children of rag-pickers, girls rescued from child labour or domestic work, children of single parents or orphaned girls and vulnerable in terms of poor economic conditions, minority or backward communities.

To know more about our operations & programs please visit our website : www.pcvc.org