BOSCO is an acronym for "Bangalore Oniyavara Seva Coota" "the Organization of those who serve on the streets of Bangalore", or literally – "the Association of those who serve youngsters on the streets of Bangalore".
The BOSCO street children's project was initiated in 1980, when a group of Salesian students of Theology from Kristu Jyoti College headed by Fr. George Kollashany reached out to the neglected children on the streets of Bangalore City. BOSCO has now become a full-fledged non-profit charitable organization registered in 1986 under the Societies Registration Act of 1960 bearing the registration no: 184/86-87
Bosco works mainly for the children and youth who are at risk – street children, child labourers, school dropouts, children whose rights are violated etc. Bosco’s activities are based a larger vision of “ build a community that will unreservedly care for its children through a promotional approach that supports children and activating forces in the society that favour them”.
Being presence with the young in all possible circumstances is the foundational element of BOSCO’s rehabilitation strategy. It has a four tier educative presence: Street Presence, City Centre Presence, Village Presence and Society Presence.
BOSCO has adopted a dual strategy – Street presence and Rehabilitation- to intervene both at the micro and macro level. It offers a range of services directed to achieve its main mission such as Counseling, Home Placement, Tracing Missing Children, Education, Job Placement, Room Placement, Health Care, Vocational Training, Advocacy, Personality Enhancement, Jail Involvement, Observation Home, Child Labour Eradication, Research & Documentation, HIV / AIDS Awareness, Child Line, etc.
Street Presence: BOSCO’s personnel maintain vigilance to meet each and every child as she/he stumbles on to the street. The street presence ensures that the street does not become a de-humanizing experience for the child, but health transit point for a better life. The child rescue booth namely “BOSCO Makkala Ashray” has been actively working in the strategic Locations of Bangalore city i.e. in Rail way station, Bus stand, City market, Shivajinagar, Gandhi nagar, Magadi Road etc.
Rehabilitation Centres: BOSCO is currently running 8 child rehabilitation centres (including open shelters) with an aim of development of the rescued children in their physical, social, cultural, educational and spiritual dimensions. Each centre offering children a secure base away from the hustle of the streets and providing a conducive atmosphere to the child’s growth as an individual and to become a contributive member to the society
Each shelter differs in its aim, yet maintains the overall goal of BOSCO. While BOSCO Yuvodaya, BOSCO Nilaya, and BOSCO Nivas are open shelters where street and working children can come and go as they please, BOSCO Mane and BOSCO Yuvakendra are permanent residences. BOSCO Mane provides education and councelling to boys under the age of fourteen, while BOSCO Yuvakendra provides the same for those older than fourteen, as well as assistance in job placement and room placement. BOSCO Yuvakara Grama is located farther from the city, yet offers proper education and drug rehabilitation.
AWARDS and Recognitions: Bosco has become the nodal agency for the state for the missing child bureau as per the proceeding of Government of Karntaka. This decision has come with the efforts of BOSCO in insuring the implementation of the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act 2002. The Act envisages that the State Government shall set up a Missing Children’s Bureau to document and publicize information relating to Missing Children with the co-operation and collaboration of the Child line and District Police Station.
- Kempe Gowda Award, 2007: The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Pallike (BBMP) recognized BOSCO for its immense service towards street children and child laborers in the Bangalore Metro, by awarding the Kempe Gowda award to the Institute.
- Makkala Mitra Award, 2004 and 2005: BOSCO received the Makkala Mitra Award from the Women and Child Welfare Department of Karnataka for the year 2004 and 2005.
- Best Child Artist Award, 2001: BOSCO child Manjunath received the Best Child Artist Award (2001).
- Makkala Kalyana Rajya Prashasthi Award, 2000: The State Award, Makkala Kalyana Rajya Prashasthi, was received from the Women and Child Welfare Department of Karnataka for being the best NGO in the State for child welfare activities.
- Rotary Community Service Award, 1998: Fr. Varghese Pallipuram the Executive Director has been honoured in August 1998, for his noble work by Rotary Bangalore Vijayanagar with a Community Service Award and a Citation.
- Bravery Award, 1994: Master Santhosh received the Bravery Award in 1994 from Mr. Kurshid Alam Khan, the honourable Governor of Karnataka.
- Bheedhi Bhagya Award, 1992: Fr. George Kollashany was honoured with the Bheedhi Bhagya award by the Karnataka Government in 1992.
- Special Police Officer's Badge, 1992: The Special Police Officer’s badge (1992) to 5 staff members of BOSCO and appointment of an A.C.P. at police Commissioner’s office and sub inspectors (1991) in all the police stations to deal with cases pertaining to street children, as a result of BOSCO’s collaboration with the police department.
- Rotary Community Service Award, 1990: Fr. Varghese Pallipuran, the Executive Director of BOSCO has been honoured in August 1990, for his noble work by Rotary Bangalore with a community service award and a citation.