New Delhi: Nearly all children living on the streets of the national capital are exposed to abuse and violence, and majority of them face harassment from police, reveals a new study released here on Tuesday.
The study, a situational analysis by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham), shows that 33 percent of the street children face harassment from police, while 23 percent are sexually abused.
A staggering 31 percent children face abuse from employers, eight percent are used for trafficking drugs, while another five percent are convicted for theft or other crimes, it said.
The study also points out that substance abuse is high among the street children with 35 percent falling prey to inhalant solutions. Nearly 21 percent smoke tobacco, 16 percent chew tobacco, while 12 percent are addicted to alcohol.
Most of the street children in Delhi belong to migrant families from Bihar, Rajasthan, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who released the report, urged the industry to come forward and adopt such children.
"I appeal to the industry to set up a trust to adopt such children," he said.
According to United Nations figures, India has the highest number of street children in the world. Though exact numbers are not available, estimates say 20 million children live and work on the streets of urban centres across the country.