Aseema’s journey began in 1995, when three friends – Dilbur Parakh, a human rights lawyer, Neela Kapadia, a documentary filmmaker and Snehal Paranjape, an advocate in the High Court – registered a public charitable trust while researching the legal aspects of child labour.
They realised that while there were many legal provisions made for children, the ground reality was very different and quite disturbing. As they met children on the streets of Bandra – a suburb in Mumbai – they understood that education was the only lasting solution. These children spent most of their day begging at traffic signals, rag picking or working at tea stalls or garages... Most of them had never been to school and the road that lay ahead of them did not hold much promise of a better future.
Inspired by the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and with faith that educati