Bangalore, India’s Silicon Valley has been at the forefront of India’s emergence onto the world stage as a leader in the global economy. Nevertheless the growth in population from 2 million to around 9 million over a ten year period has amplified traditional social challenges, as many poor people have been drawn to the city from all parts of India in search of a better life. According to a survey conducted by Paraspara Trust, an estimated 18250 children, 5000 of them girls, are sleeping on the streets of Bangalore. An estimated 200,000 children work in the construction industry, 35,000 in the hotel industry and 35,000 work as ragpickers. An estimated 15 children from rural India arrive at Bangalore railway station without their parents each day. Gopalapura is located on the outskirts of Bangalore.
Despite the massive increase in wealth that has attended the city’s growth, poverty and deprivation remain endemic. In many ways, as with the explosive growth in cities at the time of the industrial revolution in Europe, deprivation has increased as people are drawn from the rural areas in search of wealth. The use of child labour in domestic service in India has a long tradition and recognition that this represents an abuse of human rights, although increasingly understood, still needs to develop. The experience of girls in domestic service typically involves long working hours, always excludes the right to education and can frequently involve abuse.
The Baale Mane is the only home in the Bangalore area dedicated to girls rescued from domestic service.