I hope the email finds you are your family well. It's time for another update from Rescue Junction the centre for the Gaya Rescue Project here in Bihar in India.
Well so much to tell, we have had earthquakes, we have had a killer heat wave, and many new children and young people have come to Rescue Junction for help and support.
From Mid May onwards until June 13th, we were hit with a massive heatwave and we were getting reports of children and babies in distress due to the extreme heat on local trains and at stations due to heatstroke and dehydration. We purchased some extra coolers and fans and set up a cooling centre at Rescue Junction. At the height of the heat wave we had a nurse on call to rehydrate young children, and we even had to refer a few cases to the hospital for further care. We purchased many large bottles of drinking water and set up a free drinking water centre outside the centre because we are very near the station. We equipped volunteers with water on the station and on running trains to monitor any distressed people especially children , young mothers etc and worked with the railway police and coolies to help those in need. However over the six weeks of severe weather we exhausted our fund for emergencies, and the Trust had to step in using precious reserves to help children from suffering so we do have an appeal which will help replenish our depleted emergency fund . It is here.
I am of the opinion that our reports should thank people for their donations and help explain to them how we have used their hard earned money, the fact that you are reading this means you have already donated, but one way you can really make your money go further is donating on July 15th when Global Giving will match your donation by a massive 50% for as long as the matching funds last.. Matching funds begin at 09.01 Eastern, so please make a note in your diary.
I want to end with a sad but in its way inspiring tale about one girl who ran away from home due to pressure to become married.
We will call her Pramilla. ( not her real name). She is at most 14 years of age.
She was picked up at another station by a man and a woman who took her to their home in Gaya and tried to persuade her to travel to Calcutta for " Work" ( almost certainly prostitution). She gravely resisted and was severely beaten but managed to get to a mobile phone and dialed 1098 ( the emergency toll free childline number) and spoke to someone at Rescue Junction. She was able to give a rough description of the area and was composed enough to even give a house name. Within 20 mins the police broke into the house, arrested the couple, and set Pramilla free. .
On arrival Pramila was understandably distressed but it became apparent she may have some internal injuries and she was immediately admitted to the local hospital. A member of staff, a qualified female counselor was provided around the clock until she had recovered enough to return to rescue Junction where she reasons to this day.
One thing I want to tell you is that Pramila wants to help take part in a campaign to bring more awareness of the childline service and will be visiting schools and colleges with our staff shortly.
Thank you for all of your support in supporting brave children like Pramilla
Hello everyone again.
As you probably know by now my name is Sunita and I am the Director here at Rescue Junction.
May I wish you all things new at the birth of spring.
Here at the centre we are as busy as ever. As you know we are almost every month becoming more proactive in our work particularly with regard to trafficked children and with girls. If you don't know already we have a sister project on Global Giving which helps fund craft training and support for girls, which you can find below,
https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/special-initaitve-for-girls,and I look forward to updating all of you in due course in that projects next report .
As for this report concerning all the work at the centre we were all thrilled when our Chairman Mr Deepak Kumar met with His Holiness the Dalai Lama , who knows about our work and who expressed an interest in visiting the staff and children at Rescue Junction when visiting Bodhgaya.
I also want to mention that we are the centre of child line in Gaya District. Any child in trouble or distress or who needs help and advice can ring the toll free number 1098 for immediate advice and assistance . This number works all over India and I would to use this report to ask all tourists and visitors to India to not walk away if they see any sign of abuse or mistreatment of children anywhere in the country. Pick up the phone, people like us are waiting to respond to your call.
Listen to Raju, a railway child living on the station.
"Before we had no protection we were at the mercy of everyone now help is only a phone call away. We know people will help and protect us, we are all safer because somebody cares and looks out for us. Thank you for helping to keep Rescue Junction open for help education and care. We will always be grateful"
Raju (age 12) name but nothing else changed)
Thank you all once again.
Sunita and the children at Rescue Junction in Bihar, India
This is Sunita again with another update. Firstly may I wish you all the best compliments of the season. Here at Rescue Junction we celebrate every festival and Christmas is no exception. We have got some funds from the UK for a special Christmas party so in the next report I will send you some pictures.
We are as busy as ever here at the centre. Just an example if you look at the photo, the boy on the left was abandoned (deliberately) by his father who is a drunkard and the boy on the right has been rescued by neighbours and brought to us because of constant physical abuse at the hands of his uncle. We are presently making all due enquires and counseling and supporting the children as best we can.
It's already cold here at night and we have carefully distributing blankets and warm sweaters to those genuinely in need of them and I would like to thank all those who have donated to the appeal on Global Giving (which is still ongoing) and can be found here,
We also recently were involved in helping to reunite and rehabilitate over 60 children rescued from brick kilns in the neighboring state by the police . Some were aged just five and six years old. Again enquires are on in co-operation with the Uttar Pradesh police.
I will finish this update with a comment from one of our regular students, who previously lived on the station, ( I have changed his name only). These are his words,
"Before Rescue Junction was here we were at the mercy of god. Now we have somewhere safe to go, somewhere that protects us from harm , gives us food and education, and that thing I thought only others received , love and kindness ".
"Thank you to everybody who has helped us".
Pramod (age 11)
if you visit our FB page (the link is below) you can keep up with progress of our projects including our anti child begging campaign in Bodhgaya.
Until next time, God Bless you all,
Dear Friends and Supporters,
Yes time for another progress report! In fact the 36th progress report for this project, the first project people First ever had on global giving over six years ago. At the time of writing this report we have managed to raise over $27,000 towards our target of $50,000 from over 280 separate donations. Whilst every donation no matter how small is important to us I would like to especially thank our regular supporters (of which there are now quite a few ) for your caring kindness .
It is now the time of festivals here in India, but of course we never close . it is quite difficult for a small NGO like us to maintain services 24/7- 365 but with your help we have managed to do it and we hope not only to carry on but keep helping for a long time to come.
I can look back at the progress we have made and it is huge.
Since Rescue Junction became part of the Childline network referrals to the Centre have increased dramatically. In the period January 2012 to April 2014 310 missing children came through the Centre from which over 95% were successfully reunited with their families. These children would almost have certainly slipped through the net (actually there wasn’t even a net previously), and become street children or forced labourers or involved in prostitution. Here are the figures: 310 children rescued (200 boys and 110 girls). However the project reached out to over 1400 children during this period. For the children where it is not possible or safe for them to go home and there is no other suitable guardian children have been placed in full- time residential education (with holidays at Rescue Junction). Vocational training due to tight budgets has been difficult but ten children (six boys and four girls) have received vocational training in subjects as diverse as fridge and air conditioner repairing to crafts. This is a programme we would very much like to expand but we are hampered by lack of sufficient funds to implement a much needed wider programme.
The project has been fulfilling the duties and responsibilities that should really be undertaken by government at local , state and national levels. Right from the very beginning this was the declared ultimate aim and goal of the project- to develop a child protection framework in the entire district and secure funding for the same The original target was 20 years in order to achieve this goal. It may well be given progress to date this can know be achieved within 12 years of the very simple beginnings of the project.
These are the achievements so far,
Gaining the contract for Childline services in Gaya (urban) the first government funds ever received by the Trust, the recognition by the State Government which helps the excruciatingly long and convoluted process of trying to gain state government financial support.
The implementation of existing child protection bodies including the local child welfare committee, (a crucial development) and a child protection committee.
Furthermore it can be seen how closely involved People First have been with this process in that the lawyer the Trust appointed at Rescue Junction as the child protection and legal services officer has been chosen and duly appointed by the government as the chairperson of the first Gaya CWC. All this progress is in no doubt due to the relentless friendly pressure on the government from the Trust to finally put these legal bodies in place which have totally transformed the care and protection options for all local children.
So thank you all , and I wish you and your families all the best for the festive season.
Take care, with warm best wishes,
Greetings from India, from Bihar and from Rescue Project! ,its Sunita here with another update
Here the monsoon rains have been playing hide and seek, but the heat and humidity have not.
Well so much to tell you all really. Please see the picture of some of the children taking out a rally on World day against Child Labour Day . As one of the children said "lets wake a few people up" "We won't be silent any more about child labour"
We are all looking forward to welcoming some volunteers from the United Kingdom shortly for the Annual volunteer programme. The children will paint and do music classes with them and also teach some English and the children will teach them some Hindi!
Since the last report many children have come through our doors, those who simply got lost, those found employed as child labour, those who have run away from home because of abuse, and those who simply don't have another place to go. For these children, and others our doors are always open,
We need to raise $5,000 dollars to expand our work to reach more children by extending our already successful outreach programme . Your support is so much appreciated, every donation no matter how small helps us provide the services so desperately needed.
Thank You All!!,
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Project Liason Officer