Welcome to Don Bosco Research Centre

Don Bosco Research Centre, 3rd Floor, DBYS Building, Don Bosco School Campus,
Opposite to Khalsa College, Matunga (E), Mumbai - 400019, Maharashtra, India

About us

Our History

The Don Bosco Research Centre (DBRC) established in 1998, has a diverse repertoire in working with marginalized groups especially street children and adolescents. Over the years, small in-house projects of the Centre have given way to larger national and international projects that expanded the scope and breadth of research beyond street children to include children, youth and women from other disadvantaged and vulnerable groups such as slums, commercial sex workers, street drug addicts, domestic workers, casual labourers, migrants etc. Initiating and carrying out research on a variety of issues, translating them into publications, creating and feeding into platforms of advocacy (the Don Bosco Research Centre was appointed as the Regional Representative for South Asia for World Drug Policy by the UNODC, Vienna) and building up a database on different aspects of marginalized groups have been a part of the activities of the DBRC since its inception.

Our Vision

By 2016, the Don Bosco Research Centre shall be nationally recognized as a centre of excellence in knowledge management, policy studies and evaluation of programs for the inclusive growth of marginalized children, youth and related institutions.

Our Mission

  1. To undertake, publish and disseminate research projects and studies on marginalized children and youth in existing public and political spaces
  2. To interact, link and network with external, public and government agencies responsible for the care of marginalized children and youth.

The activities of the Centre include:

  1. Research - international, national and regional
  2. Publications - 16 publications (books, activity manuals etc)
  3. E-Newsletter - click here to view
  4. Training- in house and external - on research methodology, documentation, reflection, developmental issues
  5. Advocacy- nominated by the Vienna NGOs Committee as its regional representative (for South Asia) for NGO participation in the formulation of World Drug Policy at the UNODC, Vienna. Actively involved in eliciting collective voice on issues of concern regarding certain government rules and regulations for children
  6. Social and financial inclusion Program for the rural and urban marginalized

Our Team

Fr. Barnabe D'Souza - International Director
Fr. Gregory Almeida - Director

[email protected]

Dakshayani Mandagopal - CEO

[email protected]

Dr. Susan Matthew - Project Co-ordinator

[email protected]

Marina D'Costa - Project Co-ordinator

[email protected]

Veena Sharma - Researcher

[email protected]

Cynthia Monis - Administrator

[email protected]

Hemalatha - Consultant
Sadhana Batham - Field Supervisor
Nirmala Tapal - Field Officer
Anil Sawant - Field Officer

Inclusion Programme

Connect All India - a network for social and financial inclusion is a project initiated in 2010 by Don Bosco Research Centre, Matunga. The journey of Connect All began with the understanding of the poorer sections who lacked legal identity documents like ration card, pan card, caste certificate etc, which limited their access to government schemes for subsidized food, education, health and housing. On further reflection Connect All India has broaden its perspective on networking, collaboration, capacity building and a holistic understanding of social and financial inclusion. Connect All India networks with developmental organizations, corporate bodies, government, private agencies and other likeminded groups and institutions to bring about inclusion. Connect All India determines to play an instrumental role in facilitating the dialogue between different stake holders in the society and helping them connect for inclusive growth of the marginalized communities. Connect All India being a part of the research centre is explorative in nature and believes in sustainable models for growth. Connect All India has its projects based both in the Urban and Rural areas, connecting to break the cycle of poverty and encouraging savings for Inclusion. At the Connect All India Head office (Don Bosco Research Centre Matunga, Mumbai) the team facilitates the process of inclusion through networks and direct interventions. We have research oriented interventions on field, where we create and innovate inclusionary strategies and facilitate the same while we collaborate or network with other organizations. We have our interventions on field in the areas of health, education, income generation, financial literacy, identity documents, government schemes, capital building, capacity building and other innovative interventions for the process of social and financial inclusion. We negotiate with our actors at the public and private level for brining inclusive growth.

Please click on the Connect All India logo below to connect to the project website.


  • This is the first in the series of four and is targeted towards adolescents between 11 and 16 years of age. Meant primarily for use by staff working with vulnerable adolescents, this manual provides a comprehensive list of participatory learning activities, which will be very useful for individual and group assessment. It offers a range of interesting activities, verbal and non-verbal, which may be used ad per requirements. Learning takes place through use of diverse mediums such as focus group discussions, drawings, role-plays, story narration, outdoor games songs etc.- all of which will help sustain interest of not merely the target group but also the staff.

  • Education plays a vital role in improving the quality of life of the people. Despite the efforts of governmental and non-governmental organizations to bring all children into the fold of formal education, many children still continue to be out of school. Low socio-economic status of parents constrains them to send their children to earn at an early age, rather than to school. Therein lies the need to cover these children under the non-formal education scheme.

    This manual on non-formal education (mainly for children between the ages 3 and 13) aims to bring about overall development of these children while at the same time gives them a chance to learn skills which are practically applicable in their daily life, so that they may enter mainstream society. It comprises short games and activities that a social/field worker can use while imparting non-formal education. It indicates different ways of explaining a single concept to the children, all cost efficient and at the same time ideal for the setting in which the class is conducted.

  • A Manual for Development of Children undergoing Therapeutic Processes is a resource manual designed to answer the urgent need for a holistic therapeutic program catering to the marginalized children. It is created for the facilitators or social workers, who like to deal with the target group in innovative and effective ways. >

    The manual is divided into three sections. The first section includes sessions for coping with the past life of the participants. The sessions help them to accept themselves and their past. The second section deals with reconstructing the present by polishing the participant's personality, communication skills and general understanding of self and society. The third section comprises planning for the future, implementation and follow-up.

  • An outreach program is one of the most powerful tools used as a support system for marginalized children and adolescents (between 3 and 18 years of age). The aim is to strengthen the child and build up his capacities in his natural setting, rather than to bring him to an institution where, in the course of his stay, he frequently loses his edge, his resilience, and instead becomes dependent. This volume is targeted towards enhancing the street enablers diversity of intervention at different levels of interaction with children and adolescents - it comprises counseling strategies for individual and group contact, as well as planned sessions on issues like drugs, HIV/AIDS, education, health, hygiene, group life, sex education, entertainment, planning for their future and so on. This manual will be a handy reference guide to all outreach workers and the organizations working with marginalized children.

  • Food deprivation through poverty is the root cause of malnutrition, and in vulnerable children, both malnutrition and infection are widespread. Interaction with diverse groups of marginalized children and adolescents reveal that despite the vast amount of literature available on nutrition, the staff of various organizations often finds it difficult to plan out a suitable diet for children. This booklet aims to provide valuable information regarding basic foods and the nutritive values of each, interspersed with catchy illustrations to sustain the reader's interest.

  • This publication explores ways and means to plan and develop strategies to help make the slum community more self-sufficient. Community groups undertake the task of guiding and stimulating educational development and understand the logical steps involved in the planning process. The manual also provides a range of activities for social workers to carry out in the community, to try and build up the whole community rather than just a few members. Stress is laid on education of marginalized children between 5-15 years of age, and more importantly on the education of families in the community- without which all developmental efforts would lack sustainability.

  • This manual tries to integrate knowledge of children into a framework that facilitates action. Divided into three major sections comprising basic skills in counseling, the process of counseling and issues involved, it lays emphasis on working together with vulnerable children to understand their subjective life experiences and the dynamic interplay of various inter-relationships. Each topic is substantiated by real-life examples or learning exercises, and encourages the readers to place themselves in the role of the social worker, internalize learning and practice specific counseling skills.

  • As society becomes increasingly complex, the social context of adolescence has undergone tremendous change and many are getting uprooted and marginalized in their attempt to fulfill their survival needs. This necessitates the recognition of adolescents, particularly marginalized adolescents as a special category for systematic study. This book is a collection of research studies and review papers on different aspects of marginalized adolescent development. It is hoped that this book will provide the necessary impetus, inspiration and commitment to promote the human capital in our youth by accommodating and addressing adolescent issues and concerns as a part of national human development.

  • The phenomenon of adolescence has always evoked considerable interest among researchers and all those involved with their care. This book is a collection of 12 selected research and review articles contributed by experts in the field. Youngsters pose a constant challenge due mainly to their erratic temperament and shifting moods. The book presents an academic overview from acclaimed practitioners and covers topics as diverse as health, high risk behavior, pro social behavior, substance abuse, runaways and so on. This book is meant to enable all those working with youth to chart out a plan of action in building social capital and bringing about meaningful change in the lives of young people.

  • This is a compilation of the rich and varied experiences of those who work in the social and developmental sector. It is a first-hand account of social workers who have been closely associated with the lives of the marginalized and destitute. The book reflects the complexity of interactions, the associated problems and the simple strength of the social workers' convictions. The book can be an effective aid to youngsters and others involved in the field of social work. Drawing inspiration from the enriching experiences highlighted in this book will serve to enhance their commitment to making a difference in the lives of the under-privileged.

  • A participatory study pertaining to the development of marginalized adolescents was carried out by the International Federation of Catholic Universities, Paris, in association with Shelter Don Bosco, Mumbai. This book comprising six chapters, focuses on this vulnerable yet neglected section of society, those adolescents who survive on the fringes, who have forsaken the joys of childhood in order to take on all the burdens of adulthood. The book is meant to serve as a stimulus to action for all those responsible for the welfare of children and youth at risk, to enable them to fulfill their promises for the future.

  • This manual explores the process of community participation in terms of the numerous elements and sub-processes that it involves. It has elements of conceptual discourse as well as lessons from actual practice. It is meant to serve as a guide for those with an interest in community development who wish to enhance their understanding of some of the fundamentals of community participation- the concept, the process and resources- and who want to initiate or further develop community participation processes. The process is what has been stressed in this manual.

  • This book presents a holistic profile of street children in Mumbai, based on research carried out over a period of five years. It contains micro-studies of different aspects of their everyday lives including their food habits, health problems, high-risk behaviours and the NGO services they access. It offers reflective analysis and comparisons with slum children and other potential at-risk groups. The findings pertaining to multifarious aspects of street children's lives are synthesized in this book.

  • This book examines the complex phenomenon of development induced displacement caused by urban infrastructure projects in Mumbai. It attempts to view the development debate from the angle of 'real people'- those who actually bear its 'real costs'- and focuses on experiences to reveal the dynamics underlying each situation. It studies the consequences of such displacement on high risk groups like youth and women. While social costs have been identified, there is no blanket critique of development, but rather an evolution of a new resettlement paradigm which views the flux caused by displacement not as a pathology of modernity but as integral to development.

  • Over the past few decades, the problem of development induced displacement has become larger, more complex and geographically more widespread. Often, situations of internal displacement require communities, local, national and international authorities to develop innovative responses quickly. We believe that strategies for reinforcing the protection of vulnerable populations should help promote the stability required for their long-term recovery. This compilation intends to provide practitioners a variety of examples from the field of development induced displacement, based upon the experiences of those who have wrestled with this phenomenon and its manifestations in different political, cultural and developmental contexts. This manual serves to identify and address some issues of overriding concern such as empowerment of women, promotion of linkages among local authorities and so on.

  • Sage Publications, 2012 presents - the journey of adolescent street drug-addicts-from psychological brokenness resulting from family disruption to the process of mending; from abuse, trauma and vulnerability to building up of self-esteem, talents and personality; and finally to the process of moving off the streets.

    Based on the author's experience of working with the street children for over 26 years, the book explores the universe of street children interestingly, yet empathetically. The author discusses laws and policies affecting street children; root causes and their effects on them and their families; and the various stakeholders like agencies, employers, and institutions involved in their care and guidance.

    The participatory action research discussed here views children as their own psychologists, creating meanings for themselves out of their own experiences and understanding. By taking ownership of their actions, street children begin to structure their moving off the streets, facilitating their rehabilitation and reintegration into society, thereby improving their status.

  • A Rapid Assessment of Street Involved Children was conducted in 2013 on a collaborative basis by the Don Bosco National Forum for Young at Risk (YaR), New Delhi, Don Bosco Research Centre (DBRC) Mumbai and the YaR centres of 16 cities in India. This project was first of its kind to assess and monitor the situation of street involved children in 16 cities in India. The Don Bosco Research Centre, Mumbai acted as the facilitator for the study and 16 cities included: Delhi, Chandigarh, Imphal, Shillong, Dimapur, Guwahati, Kolkata, Mumbai, Goa, Baroda, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Chennai, Salem and Thiruvananthapuram. The study was primarily aimed at providing an estimation of street involved children in each city and along with the socio-demographic and economic facts that would eventually influence child centred policies and programmes and adequate budgetary allocation.

    Major findings of the study included a census enumeration of 129896 children, with 90122 boys and 39774 girls in 16 cities. Delhi accounted for the highest number of street involved children (69976), followed by Mumbai with 16,059 and the least number of children were found in Thiruvananthapuram (140). Children between the ages 10-15 years constituted the highest number indicating the propensity of this age group towards risk taking. Interview with random sample of 3993 children in the age group of 8-17 years showed children residing in the slums outnumbered orphaned abandoned or run away children on the street indicating a growing trend of slum-spill. More than half the children lived either with single or both parents, primary level of education was generally observed to be the maximum level of education attained by the children interviewed, with a high rate of drop out. In addition, the growing incidence of slum spill, families surviving on streets, project displaced homeless families all contributed to the street children population. Street as the main dwelling place was seen in cities like Delhi, Chennai and Baroda. Life on the streets was revealed to be strongly linked to poverty. Families who were economically and socially marginalized had become seriously dysfunctional, and this placed their children in circumstances that resulted in them leaving home and trying to survive in the often unprotected and hazardous street milieu and many of them engaging in economic activities to augment family income. A high volume of rural to urban and inter and intra state migration due to disaster or development project have not only left many rootless and roofless but stripped the children off from their education and right to live with dignity.

    In the light of the rapid assessment survey, following recommendations are suggested:

    1.Ensure education to all children (up to 17) under RTE and not only to children between 6-14 years
    2.Ensure the protection of rights and entitlements of migrant children through the formulation and effective implementation of relevant policies
    3.Develop a systematic and reliable data base on Slum Children Population with gender breakup upto 17 years in every state for addressing poverty alleviation programmes
    4.Substantial increase in the Children's Budget for protection
    5.Each city can plan different projects for enhancing the educational, social and economic development of Street Involved Children to avail the budget under ICPS for child protection
    6.Not only street children but also their families and communities must be part of a longer-term strategy to facilitate the reintegration of street children and to prevent further migration to the streets

Our Research

Ongoing Research in 2014

  • Study on Substance Abuse Prevalence & Patterns amongst slum children. A study done for Don Bosco Balprafulta's community initiative project 'Sakhsham'
  • Data Revalidation of Children/Observation Homes in Mumbai city and Thane district of Maharashtra in collaboration with SOSVA Training and Promotion Institute (STAPI) and Bombay Charitable Public Trust
  • Understanding challenges in skill training and employment of marginalized youth in Mumbai
  • Evaluation of School Teachers' Awareness Levels in Substance Abuse Identification and Prevention Methods
  • Understanding the Situation of Migrant Children on Construction Sites in Mumbai
  • Construction of Database on Issues related to Child Rights
  • Assessment of the functioning of anganwadi programs in selected sites in Mumbai

Research Completed

  • The Development of Marginalized Adolescents- with the International Federation of Catholic Universities (2003)
  • Good Street Boys- with the European Commission- with Italy, Spain and Madagascar (2004)
  • Impact of Development-induced Displacement on Youth in Mumbai- with the International Federation of Catholic Universities (2008)
  • DBRC was the Regional Representative for South Asia for coordinating and managing a worldwide survey of University Youth in Europe, North and South America, Asia, South-East Asia and Oceania, East Asia and Africa. An online questionnaire on youth culture was administered and completed in April 2012, by partner universities with DBRC assisting in regional analysis and suggestions for taking the study forward (2012)
  • A National study on substance abuse was conducted by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment along with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, to study prevalence and patterns of substance abuse amongst children and youth (below 18 years).This was done through a Questionnaire which profiled demographic details, social, economic and financial aspects, physical, mental, psychological health and substance use habits, also vulnerability and awareness aspects and willingness to change. DBRC administered the tool for street children at various hotspots in Mumbai (2013)
  • A Rapid Assessment Survey of Street Children in 16 cities in India (2013)
  • An Evaluation study of the Don Bosco Mission in Ahmednagar- their work over the past 25 years (2013)
  • Study of Reintegration Issues and Challenges in Repatriation & Home placement of rescued children in collaboration with Don Bosco Balprafulta for the Railway Children India initiative project (2013)
  • Savings Behaviour of Vulnerable families in Mumbai, a study done for Don Bosco Balprafulta in collaboration with Railway Children (2013-14)
*Others (for further details contact the Don Bosco Research Centre)

Research Papers

Many articles and research papers are written for activities within the department and for other social magazines, books (as chapters), websites, conferences etc. Out of which some are published and some are used for advocacy. For further details contact the department.

Some of the papers below were written for SKOCH - Thinkers and Writers Forum

  • Skill Development and Livelihood Linkages for Youth
  • Financial Inclusion through banking services for commercial sex workers in Mumbai
  • Whither Digital Inclusion (In Rural India)
  • Financial Literacy - Driving Growth
  • Inclusion of Tribals through Public Health Information Infrastructure
  • Reforming Social Security Measures for Savings among the Tribals in Raigad
  • Effective Public Service Delivery - A key to Inclusion
  • Designing India's Equity Agenda
  • Gendered Employment Generation and Women Empowerment
  • Where is Rural Digital Inclusion Heading?


Workshop on the new JJ Bill, 2014

Ms. Mahrukh Adenwala speaks on New JJ Bill 2014

A half -day workshop on the topic 'Repeal and Re- Enactment of the JJ Act : Understanding the New Provisions' was organised by the Don Bosco Research Centre in partnership with Shelter Don Bosco and Don Bosco Balprafulta on 12th Sept, 2014 at the Don Bosco Provincial House, Matunga. The programme was meant for the NGOs providing shelter services to children in need of care and protection and to engage them in a time of discussion around the new JJ Bill, 2014. It was pertinent that the NGOs aired their views on the Bill and brought to the notice of the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare before JJ Bill became the law. The programme was steered by Ms. Mahrukh Adenwala, a Child Rights activist and an advocate at the High Court of Mumbai. Some of the contentious points which Ms. Mahrukh highlighted and expected the audience to critically analyse were (a) lowering of age of juvenile offenders from 18-16 years (b) lack of clarity in terms of shelter home, Children's Home and Open shelter (c) District Magistrate having authority over Child Welfare Committee (CWC) (d) removal of schemes for after care for post 18 years. Suggestions from the participants included (a) re-examination and revamping of the correctional and rehabilitation facilities that are integral to the reformation process (b) enabling children to acquire sufficient skills while under institutional care (c) maintain a list of children moving out of institutional care for planning aftercare programme.

Teacher Training Programme on Substance Abuse at SNGHS, Chembur, 2014

Teacher Training Programme on Substance Abuse SNGHS

In order to gain a measure of control over the rapidly growing practice of substance abuse among school children and to sensistise the teachers on the issue, a series of teacher training progrmame was initiated by Don Bosco Research Centre across various schools in Mumbai since July 2014. The first one-day training programme in the series was held at the Sree Narayana Guru High School (SNGHS), Chembur on 31st July 2014. More than 40 teachers had participated in the programme including the Principal of the school. Session covering meaning of addiction; drugs of abuse, addictive behaviour, warning signs, risk factors, treatment methods, withdrawal symptoms and long term effects of substance on the brain was handled by Dr. Sunita Shanbaug, Professor, Dept of Community Medicine, Seth G.S. Medical College and KEM Hospital, Parel. Sessions on the `Role of Teachers in Tackling Substance Abuse and `The Preventive Measures at School Level' were dealt by Ms. Sonali Gupta, clinical psychologist and Mr. Swapnil Pange, counsellor at Tata Institute of Social Sciences respectively. In order to assess the understanding of teachers on substance abuse, pre and post training evaluation forms were filled up and based on the evaluation, a training module would be developed at the end of series of training programmes.

Teacher Training Programme on Substance Abuse
at Wamanrao Muranjan School, Mulund, 2014

Teacher Training Programme on Substance Abuse at Wamanrao Muranjan High School

As a continuation in the series of teacher training programme, a half- day training programme for teachers in identification and prevention of substance abuse among school children was organized by Don Bosco Research Centre (DBRC) and Wamanrao Muranjan school, Mulund at the school hall on September 13, 2014. Teachers from both secondary and junior college sections of the Wamanrao school and also from the neighbourhood schools attended the programme. The session on the `Substance Abuse Prevention' accompanied by short documentaries was presented by Mr. Swapnil Pange, counsellor at Tata Institute of Social Sciences and that on the `Role of Teachers in Prevention of Substance Abuse in Schools' was delivered by Ms. Mayuri Jain, counsellor at the rehabilitation centre, KEM hospital. Pre and post evaluation forms of training were collected from the teachers at the end of the programme.

Advocacy Workshop in Delhi, 2014

Release of RAS reports of 16 cities at YaR Advocacy workshop

As a continuation in the series of teacher training programme, a half- day training programme for teachers in identification and prevention of substance abuse among school children was organized by Don Bosco Research Centre (DBRC) and Wamanrao Muranjan school, Mulund at the school hall on September 13, 2014. Teachers from both secondary and junior college sections of the Wamanrao school and also from the neighbourhood schools attended the programme. The session on the `Substance Abuse Prevention' accompanied by short documentaries was presented by Mr. Swapnil Pange, counsellor at Tata Institute of Social Sciences and that on the `Role of Teachers in Prevention of Substance Abuse in Schools' was delivered by Ms. Mayuri Jain, counsellor at the rehabilitation centre, KEM hospital. Pre and post evaluation forms of training were collected from the teachers at the end of the programme.

Dissemination of Rapid Assessment Survey Report
of Street Involved Children in Mumbai, 2013

Post RAS workshop for NGOs

A half day workshop on `Dissemination of Rapid Assessment Survey Report of Street Children in Mumbai was organised by the Don Bosco Research Centre (DBRC) on its premises on 10 August, 2013. The event was held in connection with the rapid assessment survey conducted among the street involved children in Mumbai to gain a fresh understanding on statistics as well as major issues and concerns of this category of children. The objective of the workshop was to present the findings of the survey before an NGO gathering and to stimulate discussion and advocacy measures to address the issues as brought out by the survey. Prof. Sandhya Rani of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) was the chief guest for the occasion. The event witnessed NGOs coming up with some important research concerns having relevance on local and national level such as `Quality of institutional care, Child sexual abuse, Substance abuse, Child labour, all having significant relevance to the findings of the rapid assessment survey.