Warm and affectionate greetings from BOSCO Bangalore! We are once again here to update you with our project progress.
First of all thanks a lot for the continued support/personal feedbacks towards the project- “Rescuing 9000 children from the streets in India”. The generous support of individuals like you made it possible to mainstream 6461 street/ran away children in the year 2014 alone from the transit points of Bangalore city. We are indeed grateful for your passionate support, which helped us to facilitate new opportunities to 5561 boys and 900 girls and bring them back to the lives who otherwise would have been lost their childhood at the street corners.
The year 2014 was a milestone in the project as Ministry of Indian railways recognized our child right interventions and the South Western Railways officially handed over the Child Assistance Centre on the 4th platform of Bangalore City Railway Station. The BBMP also officially asked BOSCO, familiarizing with the good work that we were doing to take up the issues of children in need of care and protection in BMTC bus station and its premises. The Railways also has given a land line phone connection to attend the cases. Following these developments, the Superintendent of Police, GRP had come forward to issue ID cards for all the child rescue officers which has been duly signed from police department, DWCD and railways. We have also promptly responded to 1,64,634 calls landed to the child helpline number. Kindly find the other updates from this link and hope you will be glancing through this annual report and reverting your valuable feedbacks.
I also request your kind attention to our website and the blog which we are trying our level best to update every day and bringing in professionalisms. Social Medias like facebook, youtube etc are also active.
As the physical presence of the child rescue officers in 24*7 days is the prime concern and inflow of children to the streets are on steady, we realize of continuing the same project is significant. The recent early interventions studies also proved the necessities of the continuity of the interventions. Interventions at the source areas are limited at certain extent, But, we can save thousands of such children before street becomes their permanent address, if your support is continued.
Please accept our most sincere thanks once again for the continued support. Your further support would be the greatest vote of confidence to carry on our mission.
Fr. George P.S.
Sitting here in the hall of BOSCO Vathsalya Bhavana (A transit home for girls), I often wonder about my previous life. How my life would have been if BOSCO wouldn’t have helped me.
I am Nandini, daughter of an alcoholic father and a house wife mother. My drunken father used to create such havoc in our house that we used to be the victim of his brutality. Abominably, he did not even spare my little three year old brother. We often stayed at my maternal uncle’s house to escape his wrath. I used to attend school till my eith standards: after that, however, my mother asked me to get married , which I could never agree to. I decided to find a job to support my mother and brother
I heard from a friend that a family in Bangalore needed a house maid. Hope glimmered and I decided to come down to Bangalore to work. Unfortunately, when we reached the house, it was locked. Our hope crushed as there was no way to contact the family: but we decided to wait. My friend has to reach back to Thirupati for her work. So I was left alone in the railway station with nowhere to go to and nothing to do. A lady with a pleasant smile came to me, asking me about my whereabouts and the reason for coming to Bangalore. When I told her my story, she told me about BOSCO, where I can learn a skill and continue with my studies. With my mother’s and uncle’s permission, I joined BOSCO’s vocational training centre for tailoring. Now, I have almost completed my tailoring course and I am writing my 10th examination. Today, when I fix my eyes on the needle point, I see my future ahead.
Today’s children are the citiczens of tomorrow. Since they create the world of tomorrow, they are at the heart of social development. The future depends on how children prepare themselves to enter into the world of education and skill development. Children who are healthy, well-fed and educated grow up to be productive, innovative workers and responsible adults. In contrast, hundreds of children are deprived of age appropriate care and protection across the country and their tomorrow is blur due to the social, cultural, political imbalance and other factors. Many of such children ran away from home and land on the street corners of Bangalore and most of them have done so because they were rejected, beaten or sexually abused. Tragically, their homelessness can lead to further abuse through exploitative child labor and prostitution and many more on the streets. Not only abused or runaway children encounter issues associated with material security, but also leave them emotionally scarred. Many of the abused children are traumatized. To aggravate matters, children often feel guilty and blame themselves for their mistreatment. Such an attitude can take years to recover even in the most loving environments: on the streets it may never heal. Considering the plight of such children, BOSCO has requested the support system through Global giving to rescue and mainstream such vulnerable children from the street /slums to the formal schooling/skill training and subsequently reunifying back to their homes or safer environments. 1830 such children were contacted and brought back to the mainstream in last three months. We place on record our heartfelt gratitude to all the donors’ immense concern and love towards this project and the continued assistance provided to realize this dream of BOSCO is immeasurable.
1. Project highlights
2. Beneficiary Desk:
Sumati was contacted by BOSCO six months ago from the city railway platform. Now she is all set to change her destiny. She is our proud child being the first girl job placed from the newly inaugurated girls centre of BOSCO Vatsalya Bahvan.
Sumati was all alone and battered when she was found in the railway station platform. She came to Bangalore in search of a job and BOSCO provided her more than she aspired. She was from a lower middle class family in Kolar District, 100 kilometers away from the city of Bangalore. Her father is a farmer and mother, a housewife. The family was a happy one until Sumati’s father lost all their property in litigation with his brother. This incident very adversely affected her father and he became addicted to alcohol. Gradually Sumati was forced to discontinue her studies due to her family’s financial constraints.
Sumathi at the age of 16 was forced to take up family responsibilities as she was the elder one and started going for daily wage work to meet the day to day requirements of the family. Her earnings were not sufficient to feed all the mouths which forced her to move to Bangalore city along with one of her friends in search of better jobs. After alighting from the train, within seconds, her friend disappeared and she was left alone at the railway station. When the girl child was sitting all alone at the railway station with a desperate look, BOSCO staff on duty at the railway platform noticed her and offered her all possible help. Knowing about the intention of her coming to Bangalore, she was informed about BOSCO’s vocational training centre for girls where computer and tailoring are taught. Along with it, BOSCO staffs made efforts to trace her family and informed her present condition to the family members. At the interest of the child, she was enrolled for skill training as she wanted to acquire a skill and to earn a rather decent salary to support her family. Counselor at BOSCO discovered Sumati’s exceptional interest in computer and she was enrolled for the computer training at Bosco Mane, one of the rehabilitation centers of BOSCO where advanced computer taught to interested and poor children of the locality. Though she had initial difficulties in grasping the lessons taught, especially copying with the English language, she gradually picked up with the help of instructors. During her stay in Vatsalya Bhavan BOSCO’s counselor could understand her behavioral problems which were of course a hindrance to her interpersonal relations and through many counseling sessions, the counselors helped her to come out of it. BOSCO staffs at the Vatsalya Bhavan accompanied Sumati in realizing her dream and stood with her in dealing with adversities.
It was in the month of June that her long time dream was actualized. In the Job fair organized by Bosco in collaboration with Placement agencies like Aircel and Empower Pragati, she was selected out of many candidates interviewed and was immediately appointed as voice call processer in a call centre at Wilson Garden, Bangalore. The flame that kindled in her at the grooming stage from the Vatsalya Bhavan showed the way to the life. Sumathi is all set to change her destiny forever. “I know nothing would have happened without the help of BOSCO.I am really proud of what I am today. I got a good job and now earning good salary”, said Sumati with a deep smile that spreads her face with light. BOSCO is also equally delighted in her achievements and wishes her all the success in all her future endeavors.
THANK YOU for your continued support. Your unconditional support in rescuing children from the streets has been appreciated by each one of us in BOSCO. We couldn't do our work without you, and we are so, so grateful for your generosity.
As you might already know, all over the world street children lack access to basic necessities and rights. Perhaps more importantly, they lack a healthy environment in which their worth and dignity can be affirmed.Children end up on the streets for a number of reasons, many of which are rooted in family instability and poverty. In Bangalore children most often leave home because they have been rejected and abandoned by their families for various reasons. Many of the children we have worked with have left their homes to flee domestic violence, abusive relatives, peer influence or neglectful families. Some others have done so because their families live in severe economic distress, and are unable to care for them. During our interaction with the rescued children we have noticed that it is not uncommon that parents in extreme poverty will encourage the children to leave home to find ‘work,’ which may include begging, selling scrap materials. It’s important for BOSCO rescue these children who flee extreme poverty to join street life.
During the period of (MARCH/ APRIL / MAY) BOSCO rescued 1658 Children from Bangalore Railways station with help staffs, volunteers, and other stakeholders. We also conducted 12 numbers of awareness program and other 12 numbers of C.S.G ( Civil Society Group) meetings to capacitate & to reach out more people.
From March 10 to March 16th in association with the Women and child Development and railway Authority BOSCO conducted a drive to check the inflow of runaway children at the Bangalore city railway station. Round the clock rescue work with the help of 50 volunteers helped us to rescue 202 runaway children in the span of 7 days. This drive clearly shows us the need to strengthen the rescue team by hiring more staffs to reach out more vulnerable children. http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/drive-nets-202-runaways-at-city-railway-station/article5806597.ece
Here are details about the rescue work during the month of March, April & May.
NUMBER OF CHILDREN RESCUED
MONTHS MARCH APRIL MAY
BOYS 519 456 438
GIRLS 62 90 93
TOTAL 581 546 531
FINAL ACTION TAKEN
HOME PLACED 1110
INSTITUTIONAL / REFERRAL SERVICE 362
COUNSELED AND SENT 61
UNDER BOSCO CARE 125
Infant rescued from disabled beggar at City railway station.
Cleaning staff at the Bangalore City railway station on Saturday helped child helpline volunteers rescue an eight-month-old baby boy from the custody of a man with disabilities, who had arrived from Mumbai and was allegedly found making use of the child for begging. The man, who was identified as Devanand, admitted that he had found the baby boy at the Mumbai railway station three months ago and had decided to make use him for begging.
The incident came to light when the sweepers at platform no. 10 noticed the baby boy lying next to a beggar with disabilities and crying incessantly. Based on the information, a team of volunteers from BOSCO childline rushed to the spot and took the child and the man to the BOSCO shelter at Chamarajapet and fed the child, and made the man to take bath.
The BOSCO counsellors tried to extract information from Devanand to ascertain whether it could be the case of a child trafficking racket, but he reportedly feigned ignorance and behaved as if he was mentally challenged, a staff member of BOSCO Mane said. The child was later referred to the Child Welfare Committee and shifted to Shishu Mandira, while the man was provided with the address of the helpline and asked to report for any help, Executive Director of BOSCO Father P.S. George said.
It may be recalled that on April 7, a taxi driver at the City railway station helped the child helpline volunteers to bust a child trafficking racket, which led to the arrest of a 45-year-old ragpicker, who had abducted a 15-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy. The girl and the boy, who were allegedly forced to beg for him for the past one-and-half years, were freed from his captivity. The accused was charged under child trafficking and other sections while the boy and the girl have been referred to State home for boys and girls.
OTHER NEWS PAPER LINKS http://epaper.dnaindia.com/story.aspx?id=20989&boxid=15113&ed_date=2014-6-11&ed_code=860009&ed_page=3
BOSCO is being recognized in the Governmental Departments and Civil Society Organization at the State as well as National level for the life saving mission that we carry out for the vulnerable children which to a large extent is possible due to the support of our friends and well wishers. BOSCO is now an active member of Integrated Child Protection Society (ICPS), Child Welfare Committee (CWC), Home Committee Member of Observation Home, and Committee Member for Foster Care Guidelines Preparation, and conceptualizing agency for open shelter strategies for the state government of Karnataka which is being replicated across India as an innovative program under Department of Women and Child Development. Innovative programmes like early interventions surveys; rapid assessment studies, Participatory action researches etc. were possible through the generous contribution and support of our friends and agencies that support our work. The German government has even recognized the work that we carry out and first lady of Germany visited our child rescue booth and transit home on Feb 6th 2014. (http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/rescued-runaways-get-a-special-visitor/article5665250.ece)
We are so pleased to update the progress of the project report for the last 3 months. We expect your valuable feedbacks and suggestions and please feel free to contact us if any clarifications are required on the submitted report. Once again we are grateful to you for the continued support that we have received in the last one year and requesting you to continue the support for the year ahead.
Statistical ReportTotal Number of Children Contacted (December 2013 to Feb 2014)
Months December January February Total
Boys 388 333 464 1185
Girls 36 70 57 163
Total 424 403 521 1348
Final Action Taken
Months Reunified back to family Institutional/ referral placements and services Child Welfare Committee
December 264 45 115
January 288 49 66
February 364 68 89
TOTAL 916 162 270
Kindly also be updated our day to day child right interventions from the social medias especially from https://www.facebook.com/boscobengaluru
Thanking you once again
GLOBAL GIVING PROJECT; RESCUING 9000 CHILDREN FROM THE STREETS
Over these 12 months, BOSCO has rescued 5975 vulnerable children, an average of 497 per month, 16 per day. Out of these 5975 children rescued, 2845 were reintegrated back to family.
Child lost and gained
Mahadeva, finds it very hard to recall his early childhood. His narration begins from the days he started working as a bonded labourer. He is unable to recall anything pleasant about his childhood. He does not remember the name of his school or even to describe it. He only remembers how he dropped out of school. It was a Monday. He wanted to see his brother Kush who was working in an estate for a landlord in a village about 4 km away, and then go for a movie. So, instead of going to school, that day, Mahadeva went to meet his brother. When he almost reached the estate, Nanjappa, his present landlord came in his car. He caught Mahadeva and threatened him. He asked Mahadeva if he would go to school or work. Out of fear he said that he would work. Nanjappa, then put him in his car and took him to his estate. That was the end of his schooling and childhood too! Before Mahadeva started working in an estate in Coorg District in Karnataka, he was with his father Soma and mother Maadi (belonging to Yerava Community among the Hindus who spoke the Yerava dialect of Kannada) who lived and worked in another estate. He has two elder brothers Luv (23) and Kush (21) who also worked in an estate. Luv is married and his wife is Kaveri. They have a two-year old daughter Meena who is also with them in the estate on which they work. When he was taken by Nanjappa to his estate for work Mahadeva was studying in Class V. But now, Mahadeva has to work in the fields from 7 in the morning till 5 in the evening. Rs. 100/- a week was his wages. He would do all farm work, including, digging, sowing seeds, weeding grass, plucking coffee and spraying pesticides. He had to live with other boys in a shed constructed by the owner in the field itself. The boys had to cook, by themselves, the rice given by the owner. Two off-days in a week- Monday and Tuesday, but only in name! No extra payment was made for this extra work. But then, there is incentive: a bottle of alcohol! Nanjappa, the landlord, would buy crates of liquor from a shop. These were given to all the workers in the fields. One and a half bottle would go to Mahadeva’s parents every day. Both his brothers were being given one bottle each. Their evenings were spent in taking alcohol, an excellent strategy by the landlords in the area to retain their workers! Mahadeva said that he would find the rainy season the most difficult as he had to manure the coffee plantations and chilly fields. All the work would be washed away in the rain. They had to do it again and again. Sometimes Mahadeva would feel very frustrated and angry; and then, he would throw the manure in the mud instead of the fields! They had to work quite late in the evening during this season; for this he would be given half a bottle of ‘Sarai’ (liquor), extra. Only, he and other boys were not allowed to meet parents! When the coffee would be ripe and ready the task would be to pluck the beans. In a day he would pluck 150 kilograms! Though the landlord promised one rupee per kilogram, he never paid it to them. In this season too he would be given only rupees 250 per week. During Puttajatre, the annual village festival, the male god is taken in procession through the entire village. The celebration goes on for a week. But Mahadeva would be working even during the festival; it made no difference to him! If the boys got fed up of the labour and ran away, they would be found and brought back by the landlord’s men after a heavy thrashing. The ‘interest money’ on them would increase! Mahadeva is not aware of anyone in his family having taken a loan; but against the name of his brother Kush who had left his estate and gone to another estate, the interest accumulated was Rs. 40,000! Mahadeva has no idea how the interest money was being calculated. This continued for 4 years till he turned 15. He had got sick of the work. He would not get help from parents. Because they were helpless themselves and, probably, knew no other work than the age-old form of labour- bonded labour. They would put him back on to the same work. So with his friend Chandra who was working with him in the estate, one day he ran away. Chandra told him that they could work in Bangalore as the wages would be better. There would also be more holidays. They came away directly from the field. Mahadeva did not inform any one. He had brought only his mobile phone with him. They had just a few rupees with them. They got in to some bus and came to the Kempe Gowda (Majestic) Bus Station in Bangalore. Once they reached the Bus Station Chandra warned him that if he was not careful about the mobile it would be stolen. So he kept it very close to his body even when he slept at night in the Station. All-the-same the mobile was stolen. Fortunately, the SIM Card was safe with Chandra as he had removed it before they lay down to sleep!
At about six in the morning, Maltesh Kiran, a BOSCO staff manning the Child Rescue Booth at the Kempe Gowda Bus Station, met him. Mahadeva had wounds on his legs which caused him severe pain as he walked. His dress was muddy and shabby. He told Maltesh that he came looking for work. Maltesh shared about other children at BOSCO and asked him if he too would like to stay with them. Mahadeva agreed and was brought to BOSCO Yuvodaya. Deepa Patel, the counsellor, took Mahadeva into confidence and got from him as much information as possible. A call was made to the landlord’s mobile, the only number Mahadeva knew, to get in touch with his parents. But, he responded saying that the family had gone somewhere, and that he had no idea where they were. Seeing that Mahadeva was interested in learning some skill and working, he was referred to BOSCO Summnhally.
According to Sr. Pauline when he arrived she found in his behaviour clear signs of having been oppressed for years and having accepted a subservient life style. For instance, he would stand in front of the staff with folded hands, bowing to all! He was very submissive. The first responsibility the staff felt towards Mahadeva was to work on his crushed self-esteem. She said that even small gestures like offering a chair for him to sit and talk, as soon as he arrived, made a lot of difference to him. During this time several in-depth counseling sessions given to bring him back to the life. Counselor spent lots of hours in different sessions until he is copied with the day to day life. Gradually his slavish behaviours gave way to gaining confidence. He began to smile as he began to discover a world beyond working in those gloomy estates. It was to Sr. Pauline, the Counsellor at BOSCO Sumanahalli, that he shared that he was addicted to alcohol and how he came to be an addict. He did not share it with anybody else even while in other Centres of BOSCO, feeling that it would be embarrassing. He shared that even now he experienced craving and withdrawal symptoms in the evenings after 5. There is pain in his chest. But at this time the children have other programmes so it is managed as he too would be kept busy. And now, Sr. Pauline realized that it was probably because of the taking of alcohol and the four years of hard labour, that Mahadeva was taking more time to react and respond. He also looked both physically and mentally exhausted. Appropriate interventions are being made to help him to come out of it. After coming to Summanhalli he has started playing football and he says that he enjoys it a lot. He is very happy experiencing and enjoying freedom for the first time in life. He feels that no one deserves the kind of childhood that he has lived. At BOSCO Sumanahalli, Mahadeva, initially, started learning carpentry, but did not find it interesting. Soon he switched over to learning welding. He wants to go back home only when he has completed his training and worked from BOSCO Yuvakendra. If needed he is even ready to stay on for few months extra in order to sharpen his skills. He wants to bring his entire family out of their misery, one day, when he starts earning about Rs. 5000 per month or more!
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