Street children of Mumbai: Demographic profile and substance abuse

Naik, Poonam R.; Gokhe, Seema S. Bansode; Shinde, Ratnendra R.; Nirgude, Abhay S.
October 2011
Biomedical Research (0970-938X);Oct-Dec2011, Vol. 22 Issue 4, p495
Academic Journal
Street children are predominantly an urban phenomenon. India has largest number of street children. Preventing drug abuse in street children is big challenge to public health experts. Demographic profile and substance abuse among the street children in two shelter homes of Mumbai have been studied. A cross-sectional study was undertaken during February 2003 to May 2004 by involving 217 street children from Anmol and Salaam Balak shelter homes by universal sampling method. Oral informed consent was taken from both the shelter home authorities. Data was collected by conducting face to face interview with street children by using pre-designed questionnaire and was compiled and tabulated and presented in percentages & proportions. Chi square test was used to study the factor associated with substance abuse. Majority i.e. 113 out off 217 subjects were boys and mostly belongs to Muslim religion (144). The mean age of substance abuse for males was 11.3 years old and 8.83 years old for females. Overall substance abuse was reported by 96(44.2%) subjects. Only 5 subjects reported substance abuse who were continuing school education as compared to school dropouts (52).This difference found to be significant by chi square test. Study reveals high prevalence and early initiation of substance abuse among street children. Continuing school education has beneficial role in prevention of substance abuse.


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