Finding a Runaway Child

On 1st November 2019 at 10 pm, the Government Railway Police (GRP) found a 14-year-old boy, Vinit (name changed) on platforms 7/8 of Dadar railway station, Mumbai. Upon knowing that Vinit had run away from home, the GRP contacted our team at the Child Help Desk (CHD) who immediately sent a team member to speak with Vinit.

Burdening Responsibilities Way Beyond His Age

After the initial conversation with our CHD team member, Vinit began to cry profusely and narrated his story; ‘I am from Jhansi. I ran away from home because my family is very poor. My sister is due to get married in 3 years. I need to earn money to pay for her wedding expenses.’ He cried painfully while expressing the constant pressure that he faced from his family to provide for them. Vinit shared more details about his story after some counseling and assurance of safety. He said ‘My father died and I have an old mother, 2 sisters and one younger brother who needs my help.’

Counseling the Troubled Mind

Vinit was extensively counseled about his outlook towards the situation while being sensitive about the responsibilities that he had to shoulder at a young age. However, it was apparent that he had not made the decision willingly, rather he was pressurised into making a decision that could potentially harm him.

Off to the Safety of a Children’s Home

Following the counseling session, the daily diary entry was made, and he was sent for a medical check-up with the help of the GRP. He was then sent to Dongri Children’s Home, Mumbai for short-term care. On 4th November 2019, Vinit was produced before the Child Welfare Committee and a GRP official. Meanwhile, Vinit’s mother was contacted over the phone. She expressed grave concern about her son and was eager to bring him back home. The team informed her about the due process and the documents that would be required for his safe return.

Reunited With his Mother

On 22nd November 2019, Vinit’s mother came to Mumbai to take her son back home, ‘Thank you for bringing back my son!’ she said. During his farewell, Vinit shared tearfully, ‘I never wanted to leave home, but had no choice. Bhaiya helped me go back home.’