Life Of Neglect
Divakar (name changed), a-14-year boy was found at Ghaziabad Railway station at platform No.2 at 7.00 PM on 13th November, 2019. Extremely sad and worried, he was looking for someone who would help him.
Not having eaten in a while, Divakar was extremely hungry and unable to talk properly. The Railway Children Team took him to the Child Assistant Booth (CAB) further support and care and he was immediately provided with food and water. With some rest and food in his stomach, Divakar finally had the energy to interact with the team. On sharing his story, it came to be known to the team that Divakar’s father is a tailor working in Mumbai and his mother a housewife. He has one younger brother and an older brother who died of a serious illness some time ago.
Always Number 2
Upon probing further, he opened up about feeling neglected at home. He felt his parents loved his brother more and therefore he decided to leave home because he was extremely angry. He expressed his wish to not go back as he feared he would not be as loved as his brother.
Divakar remained adamant about not sharing his contact number or his home address.
After an in initial conversation, he was produced to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) of Ghaziabad district after completing protocols like a medical check-up. The CWC sent him to a Railway Children run Open Shelter on the same day for a short stay.
During his stay at the Open Shelter, the child was constructively engaged through regular counselling and non-formal activities. During the counselling, the child continued to stress upon the fact that he felt unloved and neglected most of the time, always second to his brother. Constant fights with her brother impacted him severely too. It was during one of these sessions that he finally revealed he was from Sen Vihar, Vijay Nagar in Ghaziabad. Uttar Pradesh.
The Child Welfare Officer traced the family of the child with the help of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC). The parents arrived at the Open Shelter and a meeting with the parents was organised. Additionally, the parents were provided counselling and the reasons for which the child left home were elaborated upon. The parents finally realised their mistake and agreed to be more equal towards Divakar. On 19th November, 2019, the child was sent back to his home.
A week after the restoration, a follow up was conducted and it was found that the child’s father had moved jobs from Mumbai to Gurugram as he wanted to give extra attention to his son.
A positive outcome was that Divakar had started attending school regularly too.
“Thank you Didi (elder sister) for helping me, now I am happy with my parents’ behaviour and my father has returned from Mumbai to take care of me and my education,” said Divakar to the Child Welfare Officer personnel, finally expressing his happiness to be at home, and the change in his parent’s actions towards him.