Udaan is a child labor prevention initiative of YouCanFreeUs created to serve children at risk of being trafficked or forced into child labor. Udaan, meaning flight in Hindi, is a child development center located in a slum community in Bhiwandi, India. Many children in this area work in garbage dumps, looking for plastic and metal items to sell for less than 25 cents a day. These toxic and hazardous conditions pose grave challenges to their health and development. 
Our center has a learning-friendly environment with a play area for warm-up exercises and fun activities and a dining area for the children to have two nutritious meals daily. Each child in Udaan receives quality education and mentorship in a safe, beautiful facility with trained staff.





Arfat is 13 years old and lives in a slum community with 9 family members. Arfat’s father was an auto driver with a daily income of about $6 a day until his leg was fractured in an accident, and he was forced to stay at home without pay.




Mariya is 8 years old and the youngest of 6 children. Her family lives in a small dingy shack in Bhiwandi. Mariya’s father died of heart disease when she was 3 years old, forcing Mariya’s siblings and her sickly mother to do beadwork, earning only enough money to buy one meal day; the family survives by asking for food from their neighbors.




Arkam is 12 years old and lives in a tiny room in the Bhiwandi slums with his older brother and 4 younger siblings. Arkam lost his father due to a heart attack, and when his older brother refused to work, Arkam went to work when he was 8 to meet the family’s needs.

Sponsor Arkam

Location Profile

Bhiwandi is a suburb of Mumbai, India, located 12 miles northeast of Mumbai. This city has the largest number of handloom fabrics produced in India. Most of the population is employed by this industry, known for producing pollution and hazardous waste. Many children are forced to work to help support their families; Bhiwandi has the highest number of children engaged in child labor in the region.
This area has no proper schooling facilities or children’s parks. Children live in slums surrounded by a massive garbage dump that stretches as far as the eye can see. Poverty forces parents to have their children work digging through the garbage dump looking for recyclable items; they work long hours for a mere 50 cents per day.
Bhiwandi also has a red-light area. The current metro area population of Bhiwandi is 890,000. 

Country Profile


Udaan is a project aimed at mainstreaming children who have never had an education or dropped out of school at a very early age. Our goal is to work with them for one to two years and then transition them into vocational training or regular education.

If you are a sponsor, please note there are times a child may drop out of the program because of the following reasons.

  • These are migrant communities, and sometimes a family decides to go back to their village.
  • Parents do not always see the value in education, although our constant goal is to mentor the parents, so they become involved in the child’s future.
  • A child may drop out of the program if they mainstream into regular school or a vocational program.

If your sponsored child drops out of Udaan, we will inform you, and you may transfer your sponsorship to another child.

Udaan may be quite different from other sponsorship models because of the nature of the communities where we are located.