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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Visit Street Children On Day 3 Of India Tour

12/04/2016 11:06 | Updated 12 April 2016
Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with street children at a contact centre run by the charity Salaam Baalak.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have met some of India’s poorest and most vulnerable children fending for themselves at New Delhi railway station.

Catherine and William heard first-hand from a number of street children about how they had run away from home due to abuse or poverty. They ended up at Delhi station where they were a target for prostitution, people trafficking or sexual and physical abuse.

The royals visited a drop-in centre run by Salaam Baalak Trust at the capital’s station - where on average 6,600 children travel to each year, often on their own.

The charity helps children aged from five to 18 years providing food, education, healthcare and shelter. 

Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Catherine, wearing a striking full-length patterned red dress, and William first joined in a lesson with boys who were living in the nearby station.

The couple sat down and William asked: “What’s the game you’re playing? Ah, karom board. Can you show us how to play?”

Flicking the draught, he laughed as it went too far and invited his wife to have a go.

The charity’s director Sanjoy Roy told the couple about the charity’s work: “The boys come here for four hours of lessons and some food every day. When they’re not here, they’re at the railway station.”

William asked: “Is that dangerous?”

Mr Roy replied: “Yes, so they try to stick together.

“We look after around 7,000 kids a year, but every day around 40 to 50 new children arrive at the station.

“They often have to deal with trauma, learning difficulties, ADHD and we have special programmes to help them with that.

“These children that we look after are the most vulnerable. Some may have their eyes gauged out or hands hacked off.

“The primary reasons they run away from home are misunderstanding with step-parents, physical and mental abuse, incredible poverty or a life event such as forced marriage.”

The charity has six homes, 21 contact centres and three Childline centres near stations, bus stands and railway stations across Delhi.

William asked: “What can we do to help?”

Mr Roy replied: “Spread the word. People think of them as street kids, beggars, thieves but they are just children.

“They deserve an education, future and a life. They have a right to a childhood.”

The Salaam Baalak Trust was set up in 1998 with the proceeds from the film Salaam Bombay, which told the story of vulnerable street children.

 
  • Pool via Getty Images
    NEW DELHI, INDIA - APRIL 12: Crowds gather before the arrival of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge to a contact centre run by the charity Salaam Baalak, which provides emergency help and long term support to homeless children at New Delhi railway station on April 12, 2016 in New Dehli, India. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a week-long tour of India and Bhutan taking in Mumbai, Delhi, Assam, Bhutan and Agra. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - Pool/Getty Images)
  • Pool via Getty Images
    NEW DELHI, INDIA - APRIL 12: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge particpates in an arts class with street children at a contact centre run by the charity Salaam Baalak, which provides emergency help and long term support to homeless children at New Delhi railway station on April 12, 2016 in New Dehli, India. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a week-long tour of India and Bhutan taking in Mumbai, Delhi, Assam, Bhutan and Agra. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - Pool/Getty Images)
  • Pool via Getty Images
    NEW DELHI, INDIA - APRIL 12: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge play a game of carrom with street children at a contact centre run by the charity Salaam Baalak, which provides emergency help and long term support to homeless children at New Delhi railway station on April 12, 2016 in New Dehli, India. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a week-long tour of India and Bhutan taking in Mumbai, Delhi, Assam, Bhutan and Agra. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - Pool/Getty Images)
  • Pool via Getty Images
    NEW DELHI, INDIA - APRIL 12: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge particpates in an arts class with street children at a contact centre run by the charity Salaam Baalak, which provides emergency help and long term support to homeless children at New Delhi railway station on April 12, 2016 in New Dehli, India. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a week-long tour of India and Bhutan taking in Mumbai, Delhi, Assam, Bhutan and Agra. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - Pool/Getty Images)
  • Pool via Getty Images
    NEW DELHI, INDIA - APRIL 12: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge play a game of carrom with street children at a contact centre run by the charity Salaam Baalak, which provides emergency help and long term support to homeless children at New Delhi railway station on April 12, 2016 in New Dehli, India. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a week-long tour of India and Bhutan taking in Mumbai, Delhi, Assam, Bhutan and Agra. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - Pool/Getty Images)
  • Pool via Getty Images
    NEW DELHI, INDIA - APRIL 12: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge play a game of carrom with street children at a contact centre run by the charity Salaam Baalak, which provides emergency help and long term support to homeless children at New Delhi railway station on April 12, 2016 in New Dehli, India. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a week-long tour of India and Bhutan taking in Mumbai, Delhi, Assam, Bhutan and Agra. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - Pool/Getty Images)
  • Pool via Getty Images
    NEW DELHI, INDIA - APRIL 12: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge visit a contact centre run by the charity Salaam Baalak, which provides emergency help and long term support to homeless children at New Delhi railway station on April 12, 2016 in New Dehli, India. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a week-long tour of India and Bhutan taking in Mumbai, Delhi, Assam, Bhutan and Agra. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - Pool/Getty Images)
  • Pool via Getty Images
    NEW DELHI, INDIA - APRIL 12: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits a contact centre run by the charity Salaam Baalak, which provides emergency help and long term support to homeless children at New Delhi railway station on April 12, 2016 in New Dehli, India. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a week-long tour of India and Bhutan taking in Mumbai, Delhi, Assam, Bhutan and Agra. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - Pool/Getty Images)
  • Pool via Getty Images
    NEW DELHI, INDIA - APRIL 12: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits a contact centre run by the charity Salaam Baalak, which provides emergency help and long term support to homeless children at New Delhi railway station on April 12, 2016 in New Dehli, India. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a week-long tour of India and Bhutan taking in Mumbai, Delhi, Assam, Bhutan and Agra. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - Pool/Getty Images)
  • Pool via Getty Images
    NEW DELHI, INDIA - APRIL 12: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits a contact centre run by the charity Salaam Baalak, which provides emergency help and long term support to homeless children at New Delhi railway station on April 12, 2016 in New Dehli, India. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a week-long tour of India and Bhutan taking in Mumbai, Delhi, Assam, Bhutan and Agra. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - Pool/Getty Images)
  • Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arriving for a visit to a children's centre run by the charity Salaam Baalak, which provides emergency help and long term support to homeless children at New Delhi railway station, on day three of the Royal visit to India and Bhutan.
  • Pool via Getty Images
    NEW DELHI, INDIA - APRIL 12: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge visit a contact centre run by the charity Salaam Baalak, which provides emergency help and long term support to homeless children at New Delhi railway station on April 12, 2016 in New Dehli, India. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a week-long tour of India and Bhutan taking in Mumbai, Delhi, Assam, Bhutan and Agra. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - Pool/Getty Images)
  • Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arriving for a visit to a children's centre run by the charity Salaam Baalak, which provides emergency help and long term support to homeless children at New Delhi railway station, on day three of the Royal visit to India and Bhutan.
  • Pool via Getty Images
    NEW DELHI, INDIA - APRIL 12: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends a meeting with Prime Minister of India Narenda Modi in Hyderabad House on April 12, 2016 in New Dehli, India. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a week-long tour of India and Bhutan taking in Mumbai, Delhi, Assam, Bhutan and Agra. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - Pool/Getty Images)
  • Pool via Getty Images
    NEW DELHI, INDIA - APRIL 12: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge meets Prime Minister of India Narenda Modi in New Delhi's Hyderabad House on April 12, 2016 in New Dehli, India. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a week-long tour of India and Bhutan taking in Mumbai, Delhi, Assam, Bhutan and Agra. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - Pool/Getty Images)
  • Saurabh Das/AP
    Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, is seen as she arrives for a lunch with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, April 12, 2016. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a weeklong visit to India, their first royal tour in two years. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
  • Pool via Getty Images
    NEW DELHI, INDIA - APRIL 12: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge meet Prime Minister of India Narenda Modi in New Delhi's Hyderabad House on April 12, 2016 in New Dehli, India. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a week-long tour of India and Bhutan taking in Mumbai, Delhi, Assam, Bhutan and Agra. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - Pool/Getty Images)
  • Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet Prime Minister of India Narenda Mod in New Delhi's Hyderabad House during day three of the royal tour to India and Bhutan.
  • Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet Prime Minister of India Narenda Mod in New Delhi's Hyderabad House during day three of the royal tour to India and Bhutan.
  • Pool via Getty Images
    NEW DELHI, INDIA - APRIL 12: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends a meeting with Prime Minister of India Narenda Modi in Hyderabad House on April 12, 2016 in New Dehli, India. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a week-long tour of India and Bhutan taking in Mumbai, Delhi, Assam, Bhutan and Agra. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - Pool/Getty Images)
  • Pool via Getty Images
    ASSAM, INDIA - APRIL 12: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are greeted with a ceremonial welcome as they arrive at Tezpur Airport on April 12, 2016 in Assam, India. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a week-long tour of India and Bhutan taking in Mumbai, Delhi, Assam, Bhutan and Agra. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - Pool/Getty Images)
  • Pool via Getty Images
    NEW DELHI, INDIA - APRIL 12: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge are greeted with a tilak at a contact centre run by the charity Salaam Baalak, which provides emergency help and long term support to homeless children at New Delhi railway station on April 12, 2016 in New Dehli, India. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a week-long tour of India and Bhutan taking in Mumbai, Delhi, Assam, Bhutan and Agra. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - Pool/Getty Images)
  • Adnan Abidi / Reuters
    Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, talks as they watch dancers perform Bihu dance, a traditional folk dance, at a tourist lodge in Kaziranga in the northeastern state of Assam, India, April 12, 2016. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
  • Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
    Assistant to the Duchess of Cambridge's Private Secretary Sophie Agnew (left) and the Duchess of Cambridge's PA and Stylist Natasha Archer carry items of luggage as they arrive at Tezpur Airport in Assam, India, on day three of the Royal visit to India and Bhutan.
  • Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
    Assistant to the Duchess of Cambridge's Private Secretary Sophie Agnew (left) and the Duchess of Cambridge's PA and Stylist Natasha Archer carry items of luggage as they arrive at Tezpur Airport in Assam, India, on day three of the Royal visit to India and Bhutan.
  • Adnan Abidi / Reuters
    Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, watch dancers perform Bihu dance, a traditional folk dance, at a tourist lodge in Kaziranga in the northeastern state of Assam, India, April 12, 2016. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
  • Pool via Getty Images
    ASSAM, INDIA - APRIL 12: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are greeted with a ceremonial welcome as they arrive at Tezpur Airport on April 12, 2016 in Assam, India. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a week-long tour of India and Bhutan taking in Mumbai, Delhi, Assam, Bhutan and Agra. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - Pool/Getty Images)
  • Chris Jackson via Getty Images
    KAZIRANGA, INDIA - APRIL 12: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge watch dancing by the fireside during a Bihu Festival Celebrationat Diphlu River Lodge on day 3 of the royal visit to India and Bhutan on April 12, 2016 in Kaziranga, India. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a week-long tour of India and Bhutan taking in Mumbai, Delhi, Assam, Bhutan and Agra. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
  • Chris Jackson via Getty Images
    KAZIRANGA, INDIA - APRIL 12: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge watch dancing by the fireside during a Bihu Festival Celebrationat Diphlu River Lodge on day 3 of the royal visit to India and Bhutan on April 12, 2016 in Kaziranga, India. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a week-long tour of India and Bhutan taking in Mumbai, Delhi, Assam, Bhutan and Agra. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
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