A City Walk with the Children of the Salaam Baalak Trust

A City Walk with the Children of the Salaam Baalak Trust
The multi-layered Paharganj area is one of the neighborhoods the walk explores, Photo Credit: Filip Jedraszak / Shutterstock.com

Organised by Omnaa, here’s what you need to know about the weekly virtual walk through Delhi neighbourhoods

Upasana Singh
February 10 , 2021
04 Min Read

You may have heard of the Salaam Baalak Trust (SBT) named after the award-winning 1988 film Salaam Bombay! by American filmmaker Mira Nair. The non-profit organisation based in Delhi provides support services for street and working children in the National Capital Region (NCR). Six boys from their Boys' Children Home have acted in the film White Tiger.

But not many know about the city walks that the children of SBT organise in Delhi which take visitors around their neighbourhoods, like the New Delhi Railway Station and the Paharganj area in Central Delhi. They hold a weekly virtual session now due to the pandemic.

Read:  A First Timer’s Guide To Delhi

 
 
 
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The SBT city walk in Delhi has been listed as one of the top things to do in the national capital in several travel guidebooks. The walks are held by a former street child, once living and working on the streets until coming under the care of the trust. They enable you to see the city through their eyes, hear more about their experiences, and see a side of the city far removed from the principal tourist attractions.

This week's session was organised by Tres India’s new venture, Omnaa. It started with the young guide taking us to the meeting point at Rail Reservation Centre, New Delhi. This point holds special significance for SBT. Apart from the guided tour, it is a place for social workers to look out for potentially abandoned or vulnerable children who may be travelling on trains. 

 
 
 
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The narrow alleys of Paharganj were the next stop. The guide described the history of the area, pointing out, among other things, the pictures of the many gods seen outside homes. Next up was the interesting pottery market in Paharganj, and the recycle shops in the area.

The virtual session also included a brief segment about a boutique B&B— Colonel’s Retreat, located in Defence Colony, Delhi. Known for its banana bread, the private property has a cosy atmosphere that is ideal for tourists looking for an escape from the humdrum of the city.

Read: Scenic Stretches: Walks in Delhi To Take Right Now

The walk ended with a visit to SBT’s office where people share their stories and personal experiences. The mission of SBT was explained through the guide’s personal journey of getting education, and care, from the organisation, after being abandoned from his family due to reasons such as financial instability, alcoholism, and abuse.

All in all, it was an insightful experience, refreshingly different from the usual touristy walks most people do. The walks also enable the SBT children to improve their English language and communication skills. For more information about the walks, check here. And register here.


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