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In photos: Indian street youth find solace on Facebook

Homeless New Delhi boys create alter-egos on Facebook to live out the lives they imagine

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General view of the Star Cyber cafe and Fast Food Corner in Lado Sarai frequented by boys from the Ummeed Aman Ghar home for boys in nearby Mehrauli, India, on Jan. 29, 2013.

Simon de Trey-White/The Globe and Mail

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Raju, right, from the Ummeed Aman Ghar (which means “Hope, Peace House”) home for boys talks about his use of Facebook. Raju has constructed a new online identity for himself as a 20-something software engineer living in New York.

Simon de Trey-White/The Globe and Mail

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Kalim Khan, right, looks at his Facebook profile (with Saify Ali Khan) at the Star Cyber cafe in Lado Sarai, near the Ummeed Aman Ghar home for boys in Mehrauli, India, where he stays.

Simon de Trey-White/The Globe and Mail

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Saify Ali Khan looks at his Facebook profile at the Star Cyber cafe. He has two Facebook accounts. One, with 210 friends, is an account for his friends back in his village in Uttar Pradesh. The second, with 155 friends, is tied to his new life in the city.

Simon de Trey-White/The Globe and Mail

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Suraj Khan, looks at his Facebook profile (with Sameer Khan to his right) at the Star Cyber cafe in Lado Sarai, India.

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A group of boys from the Ummeed Aman Ghar home for boys in Mehrauli, India, check their Facebook accounts at a local cyber cafe.

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Boys play in front of the Ummeed Aman Ghar (which means “Hope, Peace House”) home for boys in Mehrauli, India, on Jan. 29, 2013.

Simon de Trey-White/The Globe and Mail

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Ummeed Aman Ghar is one of four homes run for street kids by Dil Se (From the Heart in Hindi), an outreach effort founded by the prominent Delhi-based social-justice group Harsh Mander. Its residents spent brutal years on the streets of the Indian capital before they came here, evading alcoholic and abusive parents, sleeping rough in monsoons and icy winters, garbage-picking and stealing and sniffing glue to survive.

Simon de Trey-White/The Globe and Mail

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