In India, children continue to pay the heaviest price as they are the easiest and soft targets. In recent years there are innumerable cases of children being kidnapped, sexually abused, beaten up or forced to do labor – those kids could be of anyone (maybe yours) so Why are not bothered about it? Why is our consciousness not questioning us about these kids? Why are they unacknowledged? Aren’t we responsible for not standing up for their rights? Questions like these always remain but turning a blind eye is not a solution, the solution lies in action as “action speaks louder than words”. And Railway Children India is working towards this action endeavour.
Since our establishment in 2013 we as an organization creating positive changes in the lives of children who are vulnerable and at the brink of falling in the wrong hands at Railway stations. We with the help of our team, donors and various stakeholders can provide quality of life to the children who are lost, abused and fled home due to poverty and neglect. After witnessing all forms of vulnerabilities those children in streets and around the railway stations face (death in some cases) we felt the need to advocate for their need to empower them with a dignified and healthier life. This remediation process in the form of Child Assistant/Help Booths through a partnership with local organizations is currently functional at 10 stations across 7 states including Delhi’s Sarai Rohila.
Our passion for transforming children’s life starts with sensitizing the people/stakeholders in and around our intervened railway station to help the children in need of protection. Apart from this, our awareness campaigns through the signature campaign, street plays, national girl child day, and print medium is quite fruitful in benefitting needy children. Our team as a friendly community providing them back their lost childhood. We ensure that our intervention at any stage (within their communities or shelter homes) has a legal backing as we are fighting for fundamental rights of children- Right to protection: from exploitation, abuse, etc.
Our journey has been quite rewarding so far, we have rescued and safeguarded thousands of children and still counting. As a girl child often poses the grave risk of rape and abuse, we have our open shelters at our intervened railway station where children have access to the secure environment to grow up in. Every possible effort was put to restore children who have the traumatic experience to normalcy with the help of caregivers and fulfil their psychological, educational and nutritional needs. Additionally, an attempt to trace the family of these children was made and, in some cases, children are reunited with their family while in some cases where the family is untraceable, they are kept in long- term care of our community team.
As Railway Children India we are resuming their childhood; we are liberating them from fear and enabling them to live!
The writer” Rameen Anjum” is an intern at Railway children India