NGOs estimate there are around 4,00,000 working children in Delhi (estimates based on a 1988 study) out of which at least 45,000 children are estimated to be living on the street (with peers or independently) with no parental or adult support or supervision and financially self supporting for food and clothes. UNHCHR has estimated that India has the largest population of street children in the world, some 18 million children on urban streets, mostly concentrated in the large metropolitan cities. These are children who left home to seek work in cities, children who are abandoned by their families and children who left extreme poverty situations and dysfunctional families.
Majority of these street children are street workers who live with their families in Delhi slums and resettlement colonies as well as on pavements. Though there is no concrete data to establish the exact number of street children in Delhi, it is estimated that nearly 25% of all street children are run away, migrant or missing children whose families and parents are not in Delhi.