Protecting at-risk children at transport terminals from becoming street-connected children is a central goal of Railway Children India. RCI’s driven and active approach towards fulfilling the goal, however, meant that as an organization, we were able to build an extraordinarily long-standing, deep and fruitful relationship with the behemoth of a system i.e., the Indian Railways. This trusted and deep-rooted association is a result of several years of continued trust, communication, exchange of ideas and/or goals, active collaboration and above all – a shared vision to protect children.

Therefore, the cornerstone of our work begins with AWARENESS. Seeing increased action among passengers and proactiveness among vendors and railway and bus staff are only by-products of a prolonged backstage process that comprises these engaging knowledge sharing events and activities. Take a glimpse of this process with a peek into some of the crucial events held in recent times to witness child protection champions in the making.

Our team recently organized a compelling street play at Kaushambi Bus Terminal Ghaziabad that aimed to shed light about child protection among stakeholders, including passengers, bus drivers, and conductors. The street play attracted substantial audience turnout, of around 350 passengers, reflecting a keen interest in the play’s portrayal of children’s rights and protection. The follow-up post-play also revealed increased awareness among spectators, which included passengers from all walks of life, along with vendors, stakeholders and more.

Curious crowds gather in large numbers at Bakhtiarpur Junction and Barh Railway station at Patna District. 900 people go home equipped with knowledge and reassurance from prominent railway officials that together children will be kept safe across transport terminals. The District Child Protection Unit participated with full gusto, supporting the efforts in working towards creating child-friendly stations—yet another exemplar of our efforts towards child protection at railway stations.

Outside the transport hub, within the bustling periphery of these hubs, RCI conducts awareness and sensitization programs such as the one seen here, which was held outside Delhi Sarai Rohilla Railway Station. Along with distributing informative pamphlets to stakeholders such as vendors and auto drivers, RCI’s members also make it a point to convey and explain child protection and safeguarding to them.

Yet another engaging nukkad natak held at Delhi’s Cantonment Railway Station, which attracted a discerning audience of 150 passengers.

Vendors and railway staff at railway stations often attract weary, penniless children looking for something to eat/drink or for directions to their homes, inadvertently becoming key resources of child protection at railway stations It becomes important to educate them about the available resources that they can make use to report any wrongdoing or call for help.

Slogans echoed across Palam Station in Delhi as the Station Master, RPF, GRPF and our team members shared reading material with passengers and declared their mission to end all forms of abuse against children and taking the baton of child protection.

The team at Patna Saheb Railway Station in Bihar started the day with distributing leaflets and awareness material to every passenger. Many stopped and took interest in the information, asking questions, staying back to watch the street play and promising to look out for vulnerable children both on the train and across the platform.

150 passengers went home equipped with crucial information on child protection. At Ghaziabad Railway Station, the teams garnered active participation from key stakeholders, including RPF, GRP, CTI, CHI, and auto drivers which trickled over into community awareness, creating a safe neighbourhood for children.

Leaving no stone unturned, or avenue untapped for optimal child protection at railway stations, RCI also holds special awareness and sensitization programs for staff functioning in running trains. This image is an exemplar of one such program held at Delhi Sarai Rohilla station, where the cleaning staff of running trains was made aware of RCI’s work and the available child-protection resources at hand.

Using multiple routes, speaking to varied groups in and around transport terminals, Railway Children India sets out to not only spread awareness but also to build a relation of trust with the many officials of India’s transport hubs.