"I dream of a day when I get a job and give my mother whatever she likes."

When Bikram's parents migrated from Diamond Harbor in West Bengal to Delhi in search of a better livelihood little did they know what the city had in store for them. Due to the hardships of life in the metros their life turned from bad to worse. His father took to alcohol and with his uncertain income as a daily laborer, the mother started to fetch for the entire family. To support his mother twelve years old Bikram, eldest of all siblings, had to start earning by picking rags.

Circumstances forced Bikram to sacrifice his childhood for fetching two square meals a day for his family. Every morning while other kids are getting ready for school, Bikram is out picking up garbage from the dumps.

When a volunteer from Smile Foundation's Mission Education centre first brought Bikram to the centre, he just kept on looking around in amazement. He had never seen a school before - the sight of so many children learning and paying together was entirely new for him. At the beginning, he took a little time to adjust, but soon made many new friends at the centre.

Today, Bikram is a happy and active child. He studies hard at the centre and is being provided with quality education, nutrition and health support, holistic growth, and lots of love and care. He wants to grow up to be a teacher and teach other underprivileged children like him.

Smile Foundation's Mission Education programme is providing education to 22000 children through 152 centers in 21 states of India. These children are either homeless, orphaned, abandoned, or belong to extremely poor families. Leaving their circumstances behind, today they have started dreaming of a better, brighter future.

Each one of these children deserves at least a chance - a chance to break out of the cycle of poverty and ignorance, a chance to build an independent identity, a chance to have a dignified life.

Help us continue the education of these children and take them a step closer to their dreams.

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