Poor children who have been largely deprived of love, security and a predictable way of life may already have developed behavior disorders resulting from this deprivation. They may be introverted, hostile, or distrustful of other human beings. Many services exist today that approach unwanted children in an impersonal or harsh way, in crowded, often unhygienic, and generally unsavory settings. Needless to say, such environments cannot lift their spirits or address their pressing physical and psychological needs in any meaningful way, let alone mainstream them into productive members of society. That will require a nurturing and supportive environment, as found in a home.
Shanti Bhavan meets this need by providing a home-like environment for the children to live and learn, where they receive individualized attention from dedicated, sensitive and supportive staff who are qualified to handle problems in an understanding and non-judgmental way, and replace children's despondency with hope and ambition. The staff who runs Shanti Bhavan have completed a rigorous orientation/training program. Only staff who are open to new ideas and who are willing to disassociate themselves from traditional, ineffective or counterproductive practices are be selected.
Most importantly, the staff must recognize that this
is a human endeavor to develop the full potential of disadvantaged children and that in order to achieve this end, every aspect of the child's personality and developmental needs must be addressed simultaneously. The project places paramount importance on regarding each child as an individual. A climate of love, warmth, respect, and appreciation prevail at Shanti Bhavan, a climate that is essential for the normal development of a child. The staff-child ratio is as high as 1:4 for the 4-year olds and 1:7 for children 5 and above, in order to ensure individualized care and attention. The physical setting is conducive to growth, with adequate space, comfortable rooms, and amenities. Physical structures are designed to look and work like homes, with staff and children in close proximity to each other at all times.