William and Kate champion a cause close to their hearts on day three of their royal tour

hellomagazine.com

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, kicked off another busy day on their royal tour by meeting a group of vulnerable young people in New Delhi. Prince William and Kate learned about the work carried out by charity Salaam Baalak, which provides care and protection to street and working children in Delhi and the surrounding areas.

The royal couple first visited the charity's contact centre near New Delhi's railway station - where thousands of children end up each year to escape a range of personal circumstances. They then visited a residential home that provides temporary shelter for boys, where they are provided with mental health support, nutrition, education and vocational training programmes.

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William and Kate met with staff at Salaam Baalak charity in Delhi

There they met with both children and staff, and were particularly interested in how the charity focuses on mental health issues - a cause that is close to both of their hearts. The trust treats mental health as a key priority, and offer a lot of support to vulnerable children to help them adapt to life in a nurturing environment.

The charity's director Sanjay Roy told the couple about the charity's work, explaining: "We look after around 7,000 kids a year, but every day around 40 to 50 new children arrive at the station. They often have to deal with trauma, learning difficulties, ADHD, and we have special programmes to help them with that."

A concerned Prince William asked: "What can we do to help?"

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William and Kate chatted to children and staff at the residential centre

Mr Roy replied: "Spread the word. People think of them as street kids, beggars, thieves, but they are just children. They deserve an education, future and a life. They have a right to a childhood."

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A picture of a house drawn by the Duchess of Cambridge

Kate also asked about society's view on mental health. "Is is spoken about or is there a stigma?" she asked, prompting William to add: "In the western world it still hasn't elevated itself to the highest levels."

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The charity director said that they have been asked to "spread the word" and want it to be looked at as a "major issue".

Kate interjected: "And as early as possible."

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The Duchess looked elegant in a red patterned maxi dress

The couple dressed in less formal attire for day three of their royal tour. While William was dressed in a sand coloured trousers and a blue shirt, Kate looked stylish as ever in a red patterned maxi dress and nude suede shoes. The Duchess has showcased a chic selection of both British and Indian designers during the first two days of her tour, which has included a striking sari-inspired Jenny Packham gown and a cream wool crepe dress from one of her favourite designers, Emilia Wickstead.

The Duke and Duchess continued their day by meeting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a private lunchtime meeting at Hyderabad House, New Delhi. Mr Modi previously enjoyed lunch with the Queen during his three-day visit to the UK in November, and has said that the meeting is an "integral component" of India-UK relations.

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The royal couple were particularly interested in how the charity focuses on mental health issues

Following their busy morning, William and Kate will head to the Kaziranga National Park in the state of Assam. Kaziranga is a World Heritage Site and a wildlife conservation site of great global importance, home to elephants, water buffalo, bird species, the endangered swamp deer, tigers and one-horned rhinoceroses.

They will arrive in the afternoon and as their visit coincides with the Bohag Bihu festival, the celebration of the Assamese New Year, William and Kate will meet local people and see dance and musical performances around a campfire.

The Duke and Duchess arrived in India on Sunday and have already carried out a number of engagements in both Mumbai and New Delhi, including a garden party held in honour of the Queen's upcoming 90th birthday.

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