Socio-economic, Demographic and Cultural Characteristics of Street Adolescents in Mumbai

Dattaram Dhondu Naik


Street adolescent comprises manifestation of the social inequalities like poverty. It is disturbing phenomenon, exclusively urban and apparently from cities. Industrialization, migration, lack of opportunities for education or employment, cruelty and abuse, neglect, natural calamities, broken families are some of the factors leads to an increase in the number of adolescents running away from their homes. However, the phenomenon of street adolescents actually results from rural-urban migration of these adolescents’ parents and immediate environment, as well as the parents’ earlier lives.

An explorative study is undertaken in central and south part of the Mumbai with an objective to investigate socio-economic, demographic and cultural characteristics such as age, sex, religion, education, occupation, family background, place of origin, place of residing currently, reason for migrating to Mumbai and life style, of street adolescents in Mumbai. The sample of this study was purposive. Quantitative data was collected by conducting personal interview with street adolescents, through a pre-designed semi-structured interview schedule after obtaining informed consent. 315 boys and 332 girls were interviewed during survey.

The mean age of the participants was about 14 years. Majority were staying on foot path. About 11 percent boys were staying alone. Nearly one fourth of the street adolescents were illiterate. No interest in study and poor economic condition were the major reasons for leaving school. Major reasons for leaving family were; earning money, poor economic condition or had affection towards Mumbai. Study emphasis on need of improving socio-economic and demographic status of street adolescents by using appropriate interventions.


Street adolescents, Demographic profile, Mumbai

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