I have worked in Mumbai supporting street boys since 1982 (full-time since 1986). This thesis began with the question, “How can we improve the educational experiences of the most vulnerable children in India?” Thus began a research journey in which I have systematically examined my practice, with my colleagues and with the vulnerable boys themselves. During the process, the operation has become more reflexive and self-sustaining. There is no magic for these boys, just a long painstaking process of support which has enabled some to turn their lives around.\ud \ud As a practitioner researcher, my experience has prompted me to question the thinking and the mindsets of these male street adolescents and evaluate my practice. My account connects my personal experience to the cultural, placing myself within the social context of the street adolescent (Reed-Danahay, 1997). I wish to identify effective practice, and to share and develop this with colleagues on whom the future of the work depends.\ud \ud The phenomenon of street youth is a visible manifestation of a disrupted political and socioeconomic society. The forces that lead growing numbers of youth to the street are numerous and complex. In developing countries, few social services exist for the youth who have lived or worked on the streets. It is important to understand not only who these youth are but also how they function, as such insights will provide a better understanding of their needs which in turn will provide them with the opportunity to be included in decision-making processes pertinent to their future as contributing members of society (Tudoric′- Ghemo, 2005). -- [excerpt taken from Introduction and Context
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