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India-Deepa Nivas – The home of street children

Deepanivas is a home for children and street children in India, on the outskirts of the city of Vijayawada, the capital of the state of Andrha Pradesh

When it was born in 1999 it housed street children, then there were many, they lived mainly in the station and trains were their kingdom. After 20 years India has changed a lot and street children are no longer seen. The police intercept them, take a census of them and take them to various institutions such as Deepanivas where, in the meantime, safety, hygiene and living conditions are regulated by fairly strict rules.

Since 2017, Deepanivas, which was previously managed by the local curia, has passed to the management of the Salesians of Don Bosco who in Vijayawada have for many years had a large organization dedicated to street children and children, as well as to orphans, both male and female. The center is called Naavajevan, visible on the site: dihttp: // It has a large and very articulated organization to be able to offer many services in addition to hospitality, food and school. In fact, the center also takes care of the many children with psychological, emotional, cognitive, psychic and relationship problems, trying to accompany them until economic independence.

Today at Deepanivas 65 children and young people are hosted, almost all of them orphans. In the morning they all go to school and this is a great achievement because it allows them primary education.

Since 2001, Deepanivas has hosted a Dental Clinic, a small, fairly well-organized dental clinic where Italian volunteers have been working since then.

Since 2004 the Dental Clinic has been part of the SMOM projects. The outpatient clinic has been renovated several times and carries out a very important task of prevention and care for the young guests who in most cases are of low caste, which means that no one wants to treat them, because even today in India castes regulate human relations.

Since 2017 the Salesians have reorganized the Dental Clinic, financed by SMOM, and have appointed an Indian dentist, of Christian religion, to treat children from all over Navjeevan every Saturday.

Today the Italian volunteers are hosted in the Navajeeva headquarters which is based in a central area of ​​Vijayawada. Here there are rooms with bathrooms and a canteen shared with the staff who work for the organization, including the executive director, Father Ratna Kumar, our contact person and manager. In the morning, the volunteers are accompanied to Deepanivas and directed to the children to be treated.

To reach Vijayawada today you can take different routes because the city airport is connected with direct flights to Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, where you can get there with direct flights from Italy. A driver comes to pick up the volunteers at the airport.



Father Ratna Kumar, phone + 918332875728 mail

the executive director and our contact person, speaks a little Italian

• Solidarity of Dental Medicine in the World, SMOM

Responsible dr. Paolo Montecucco

Local context

In 1999, the Deepa Nivas Project was created, a complex for the reception, care, schooling and training of street children. The structure is located in the immediate outskirts of Vijayawada, a city that is home to about one million inhabitants, at the center of an important railway junction between Madras, Calcutta and Hyderabad, and for this reason particularly affected by the phenomenon of infantile "straying": every year there hundreds of abandoned, lost or escaped children from their families converge.

The complex welcomes from 70 to 100 guests, exclusively male, including children and young people aged between 4 and 7 years, who are provided with three hot meals a day, medical and dental care, the possibility of washing themselves and have clean clothes; also informal study courses for learning English and arithmetic and / or craft training courses in the field of bookbinding, tailoring, carpentry and joinery. Classrooms and training laboratories are part of the complex, however several children whose stay is now stable are also directed to public schools or external laboratories. In 2003, the classrooms with computer labs and rooms for welcoming volunteers were completed.

Technical Project Data







Project start




Project status


Project manager


Project Cost

€ 15,000


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