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...
Jul 3, 2010

Rescue Junction Site Visit

The kids of Rescue Junction
The kids of Rescue Junction

Bill Brower is a Field Program Officer with GlobalGiving who is visiting our partners’ projects throughout South and Southeast Asia. On June 4th he visited People First’s Rescue Junction in Gaya, India. His “Postcard” from the visit:

Nick Hansen of People First had the same reaction I did to seeing shabby-looking kids seemingly living at railway stations: Well, there must be someone looking out for them. Over time he came to find out that there in fact wasn’t anyone in the area where People First was working—no government program, no other NGOs and often no family for hundreds of miles. He decided to step in to fill the gap. Faced with such a daunting problem—transient kids, many orphans, many sniffing glue or doing other drugs, scraping out a living on platforms and trains—People First’s primary goal was just to meet the children’s basic needs. But the organization knows that’s only treating the symptom and so also started a campaign to increase public awareness of the problem and has an ultimate goal to work with the government to create a comprehensive program to deal with the causes and consequences of platform children.

Nick expects this process to take 20 years. Five years in and he says they are ahead of schedule. From my visit I can only speak to the meeting-basic-needs step, but this seems to be well in hand. I found Rescue Junction to be a clean, safe place that is providing dozens of these platform children with the support they need to change their lives. Obviously a big draw is food—but the kids are only eligible for meals if they stay for classes in math, English, etc. There are basic dormitories. They provide medical treatment, counseling and legal assistance. Where appropriate, “lost children” are reunited with their parents or other family members (over 100 have been thus far, according to Nick). People First also encourages a sense of responsibility; the children are free to come and go as they please. All the support they need they can get from Rescue Junction, but they need to commit to taking it.

Changed awareness in the community and government is difficult to gauge in a one-day site visit but Nick tells me they’ve also seen progress on these fronts. Their surveys indicate that the proportion of the community that’s aware of the problem of platform children has gone from 15% to 80% in the time they’ve been working. The police apparently are also seeing these children differently. Sexual abuse at the station has stopped, according to Nick. And the government is interested in promoting their program in every rail station in the district.

While there is still much to be done, People First has made good progress and seems well on their way toward meeting their goals by 2025.

Jun 21, 2010

The need for Non Governmental Organisations

It is not our intention of course to comment on the actions or inactions of government. We wish to cooperate with everyone, especially at local level. Whilst not strictly a progress report the newspaper article below is self explanatory and we are posting it to demonstrate the important role that NGOs have to play in disaster relief in the flood affected areas . We would to once again like to thank you for your support as we prepare with local communities for the upcoming monsoon. A more detailed report with details of our work will be posted very soon.

FLOOD RELIEF FUNDS LYING UNUSED AND UNUTILISED RETURNED TO GUJARAT A week after he threatened to return the "unutilised money" to Gujarat, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar returned Rs 5 crore, which was given by the Gujarat government led by Narendra Modi for Kosi flood relief in 2008 to the state, on Saturday. Disaster Management Minister Divesh Chand Thakur told rediff.com over telephone that the Bihar government had returned the "unutilised money" to Gujarat. "The state government has returned the Rs 5 crore (over one million US dollars) to Gujarat government. There was nothing surprising in it as the government was working on it," Thaskur said. On June 12, Nitish had threatened on the first day of the Bharatiya Janata Party's national executive meeting in Patna to return the amount to Modi after a Gujarat government's advertisement published in local newspapers boasted of its "liberal donation to Bihar during the 2008 Kosi floods". He also cancelled a dinner organised for the top brass of the BJP to convey his disapproval about the advertisement featuring him with Modi. Nitish had said that the Gujarat government's claim (on flood relief) was uncivilised and against Indian culture. "Nobody claims of bestowing favours on those who face tragedy caused by natural calamities," he had said. He said he did not know the exact amount contributed to the relief fund by Gujarat. "I will go through the details and immediately return the money received from Modi which was lying unspent in the CM's relief fund," Nitish had then said. He also took strong exception to the use of his photograph with Modi in another advertisement published in local dailies. Kumar even threatened to take legal action against those responsible for it. The Janata Dal-United leader has always kept himself at a distance from Modi, due to the latter's alleged role in the communal carnage in Gujarat in 2002, and avoided sharing any public platform with Modi in Bihar.

Jun 17, 2010

Global Giving Visits Rescue Junction

Bill Brower visits Rescue Junction
Bill Brower visits Rescue Junction

It was a pleasure to welcome Bill Brower Field Officer for Global Giving to Rescue Junction recently. Global Giving is a key part of our fund raising strategy,

Bill wrote in the visitors book at Rescue Junction, "I am impressed with how thoroughly records are kept and the organisations obvious dedication to the children and their honest work . I am happy our donors are able to contribute towards the upkeep of this valuable work".

Please see photograph of Bill at Rescue Junction

Thanks Bill, and Thanks to Global Giving!

Other news from Rescue Junction Baby Nileen has been placed for adoption by the Child Welfare Committee , this will be an adoption by an Indian family. The story of Brave Tiger Part two will be posted on our next update but his family are now safe. Missing children (Over 20) since the last report have been reunited with their families since the last progress report alone. The children are looking forward to the arrival of volunteers who have joined our village experience programme as this is the time the centre is repainted with the volunteers in bright colours and murals.

Always remember you can keep up with progress of this project by visiting our website at www.peoplefirstindia.net

And it would be great to see an American on our village experience programme, Check it out on our website!

And last but certainly not least, on behalf of all of the children, thanks for all your help and support through Global Giving

donate now:

Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $10
    give
  • $25
    give
  • $50
    give
  • $100
    give
  • $250
    give
  • $500
    give
  • $1,450
    give
  • $7,700
    give
  • $10
    each month
    give
  • $25
    each month
    give
  • $50
    each month
    give
  • $100
    each month
    give
  • $250
    each month
    give
  • $500
    each month
    give
  • $1,450
    each month
    give
  • $7,700
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?