People First Educational Charitable Trust

People First aims to work closely with oppressed and disadvantaged communities and vulnerable individuals in breaking the centuries - old cycle of ignorance and oppression by providing opportunities for education. The trust believes the best way to achieve long - term positive social change is through education and we work in the areas of greatest need where no other education is available to the poor and oppressed. Our mission is the bringing of educational opportunity and to promote health and social rights to those to whom such opportunities have previously been denied due to poverty family circumstances or oppression. The Trust aims to work with the most marginalized me...
Apr 23, 2010

NEWS FROM RESCUE JUNCTION

Firstly, the link address for our website on the Global Giving page is wrong.

We have tried to correct it using the project updating pages and in fact the address is listed on those pages is the correct one www.peoplefirstindia.net.

PROGRESS REPORT Much development has taken place at the centre. The new facilities for girls and the improvement in the security of the building have done much to enhance the children’s safety. During the last few months, the Trust has consolidated links with law enforcement agencies particularly the R.P.F, or Railway Protection Force. According to a recent directive from the central government, the Railway Protection Force has been instructed to identify and apprehend both children being trafficked and child traffickers. However, no any extra resources have been provided to help them undertake this new task. The local officer in charge of the R.P.F is extremely appreciative of the work of Rescue Junction, and many lost, abandoned and children being trafficked have been brought to the centre by the R.P.F , and the government railway police. The centre’s links with the local remand home and the local police, have also been reinforced during the last few months. Here is excerpt our annual report, (which will be send to you by registered post in the next few days), On condition of anominity, a senior police officer told the senior management of the Trust. “These are the invisible children, and before your centre was here they were left on their own, and in order to survive many turned to crime or prostitution. Since your project started this has now stopped and you have given them hope and self-respect. Before Rescue Junction, we had nowhere to send these children apart from jail (the remand home). The government provides nothing for these children, not a single worker or bed is available for them, only you seem to care, and in doing so you have saved many young lives” In addition to this immediate response, longer-term rehabilitation counseling and support has continued at the centre. This has resulted in several platform children undertaking vocational training, and one youngster has successfully started a full time residential education. Even greater trust between the staff and young people has meant many of the children who attend the centre have gained self-respect and there has been marked reduction in substance abuse, disruptive behaviour, and a corresponding improvement in social skills.

CHILDREN REUNITED WITH FAMILIES THROUGH RESCUE JUNCTION FROM AUGUST 09 TO DATE

Name and Age Gautam Kumar 10 Archana Kumari 5 Md. Fazan Ahmad 7 Hariom Kumar 7 Arsom 14 Iondar 13 Sunil Kumar 12 Mukesh Kumar 13 Mumtaz 14 Tabasum 8 Baiju Kumar 9 Pappu Kumar 8 Roushan Kumar 12 Sareena 17 Guddu Kumar 9 Sambhu Viswakarma 11 Pawan Kumar 12 Monu Kumar 13 Shubankar Bhola 14 Raju Kumar Pandit 14 Suraj Kumar 9 Sheikh Allaudin 12 Neeraj Kumar 10 Munna Kumar 10 Munna Kumar 12 Islam 12 Santosh Kumar 14 Laxman Kumar 13 Ajay Dhobi 13 Ranjan Kumar 10 Karu Kumar 9 Pradeep Kumar 12 Sarfraz Ahmad 10 Shankar Kumar 13 Nikhil Kumar 12 Roushan Kumar 12 Sharwan Kumar 12 Chikku Kumar 12 Sunny Kumar 12 Rahul Kumar 13 Raju Kumar 10 Chintoo Kumar 14 Ranjit Kumar 13 Moelasir 12 Manish Kumar 14 Md. Rizwan 11 Mr. Nausahad 10 Mr. Kalad 9 Anil Kumar 12 Vikash Kumar 9 Anup Kumar 10 Badal Kumar 10 Sonu Kumar 12 Shibu Kumar 13 Binod Kumar 13 Radha Raman pandey 14 Jeetu Kumar 10 Mantan Kumar 12 Sandeep Kumar 11 Sobit Kumar 13 Sanjay Kumar 13 Pramod Kumar 14 Md. Nasim 8 Vikash Kumar 11

The police verify all repatriations and handovers take place in the presence of a senior police officer. Subject to no objections from the family or child, the media often attends the process.

Regarding Community awareness, in October 2009, the Trust embarked upon the largest ever exercise of its kind ever held in Gaya. In cooperation with another N.G.O working with street children in another area, (SAATHI), the Government Railway Police, the Railway Protection Force and East Central Railway a survey was held which aimed to identify the number of unaccompanied children passing through the station in a 72 hour period. Twenty-four staff and volunteers were on all the platforms 24 hours a day. During that period, 139 children, were contacted and offered assistance. The local print and electronic media extensively covered this event. It is interesting to note that even two years ago only 30 % of people who worked on the station, ticket inspectors, porters etc knew of the existence of Rescue Junction. According to the most recent survey, undertaken in December 2009, the awareness of the centre, and importantly its purpose and role amongst station staff has increased to over 90%. From the 1st October 2009 Over 14 thousand hot meals have been provided at Rescue Junction, over 200 Blankets distributed, and 100 Sweaters and 50 scarves. The educational classes have continued, concentrating on Basic literacy and numeracy and have included subject such as health issues, and children right and for older children aids awareness and prevention. The State welfare department has visited the centre on two occasions and the Trust has copies of the very positive reports, which were sent to the Director of the Department recommending formal recognition of the centre and its work by the government of Bihar. And the centre has helped in other ways too, a young female, 18 years of age travelling alone was dragged off a train as it started to move in the night just outside Gaya Station by 4 men who then attempted to rape her. Her screams alerted passers -by who came to her aid. One man was arrested ,and charged with the crime. The police brought here to Rescue Junction where safe accommodation and counseling were available whilst her family was located. Their gratitude for the kindness and support given to their daughter was overwhelming. In addition, in a landmark judgment the local juvenile justice board sentenced an 18 year old for a crime he committed as a child to 3 months community service at Rescue Junction which he completed successfully. Moreover, after our report to the court he was subsequently released. It can be seen from all of the above, how vitally important Rescue Junction has become for children in Gaya district, especially as there is no other alternative programme. Lack of resources prevent the trust , from further expanding our vocational training programme and outreach work , and there is still so much more can be done in order to help ensure the safety and well being for these vulnerable children. However, the Trust is fortunate to have such dedicated staff and it is to their credit to have achieved so much in a comparatively short space of time. When the Project started just a few years ago, it faced suspicion, abuse and disbelief from the community. The police and others forecast that to try to run such a programme in Gaya was doomed to failure. The remarkable positive change in the communities attitude, the children’s behaviour and the absolute trust the project has now secured from stakeholders and others is an ongoing testament to the hard work and efforts of all those involved.

Nick Hansen People First Educational Charitable Trust Spring 2010

PEOPLE FIRST WORKING TOGETHER WITH THE POOR AND OPPRESSED FOR A BETTER FUTURE

Apr 20, 2010

The importance of this programme

I wanted to explain how important this programme is. It is the give a fish or teach a man to fish thing.

However, the meal programme is not in isolation, rather it is a most important part of a whole picture. This programme of providing a nutritious meal to the children and old people of a village is part of an overall health programme, which includes preventative care, health education and the provision of clean water (please see our water pump appeal on Global Giving).

You may have heard of midday meal schemes for schoolchildren in India; these do not exist or rather are not functioning in the villages we hope to continue this vitally important provision.

The Public distribution system has failed in this area, people and children are hungry and this is having a very serious effect on children’s health.

Please help us put them back on the road to health by supporting our Appeal

Mar 22, 2010

Battling Hunger and Malnutrution in Bihar

Bihar's record in tackling malnutrition and hunger has been particularly worrying, with NGO's alleging as many as 100 deaths over the last three years.

NDTV visited Gaya district, just 125 kilometres from the state capital, to find that its not just children who are bearing the brunt of chronic malnutrition and hunger. Here's the report:

On October 9 2009, 55-year-old widow Murti Devi gave up her fight against years of malnutrition and hunger. When she died, there was not a single grain in her house.

Murti Devi had food coupons with her, but got no rations since July 2008. She had a National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) job card since 2007, but not a single day of work was given to her till the time she died.

Last year was particularly bad for the people of Gaya. A severe drought in the region meant that only about eight per cent of the annual average paddy crop was harvested.

And so Murti Devi could not find work on the farms either, which in the past was enough to provide at least one meal a day.

"A relief of Rs 1,500 was given for her last rites in addition to Rs 10,000 for the family," said Sohan Kumar, also a resident of Kharauna village.

But the administration denies that she died due to malnutrition or hunger.

"We investigated these cases and found that the deaths happened due to diseases and not any other reason, said District Magistrate Sanjay Kumar.

Seventy kilometres away, in the Bongia village, Purnia Devi has still not got over the death of three of her grandchildren in 2007, which she says happened due to severe malnutrition.

Since then, the mid day meal scheme at the local school has been started; but the Anganwadi, meant to provide supplementary nutrition to pregnant women and small children, doesn't run.

"We have fired many Anganwadi workers in the past when we found them not working. I am telling you that we need to streamline our systems further," said the District Magistrate.

Clearly, the government s efforts are not reflecting in these remote villages, where women and children in particular are bearing the brunt of chronic malnutrition, and hunger.

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