Greetings to you all!
I want to tell you the story of a boy called Devnandan. Devnandan has lived on the station for as long as he can remember, physically challenged with the loss of an arm in childhood in a freak accident with a thresher mill, he sweeped trains and begged to survive from day to day with little future ahead of him.
He began to attend Rescue Junction, took a keen interest in the educational classes and began to gain self respect.
An opportunity came to him some months ago to study air conditioner and fridge repairing as a vocational training course ,and despite his lack of formal education he successfully passed the course and took a loan from the Trust under our LIFE (Lindum Individual Fund for Enterprise) programme to start his own business. " Himalaya Service Centre".
He has now come from a beggar to businessman, a whole new life in front of him.
As Devnandan himself comments, " I never though that I would have a chance like this"
As ever thanks for all your support, and may with your help turnaround more young lives like Devnandan.
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Greetings to all our supporters, we hope this update finds you well
Do you remember two very small girls were found abandoned on the station on two separate occasions?
After extensive efforts including a lot of publicity we were unable to locate their families, sadly it seems as if they were left on purpose. Rescue Junction cared for them whilst efforts were made to secure their future. We are very pleased to be able to tell you places were found in an adoption home and the two girls will soon be in a new loving Indian family .
Meanwhile the children recently celebrated the festival of the god of education with prayers and sweets.
But of course getting missing children home is only part of the centres role, look out for our next newsletter which will show Dev Nandan a regular attender at Rescue Junction who lost an arm in a train accident (as railway children often run the risk of such injuries), opening his new air conditioner repair shop after undergoing vocational training.
All this is due to the support of people like you.
With Best Wishes and thanks to you all,
May we send our heartfelt thanks and greetings with compliments of the season from Rescue Junction in Bihar. Let me bring you up to date with all the latest news from the project.
During the past weeks many missing children have come through the doors of Rescue Junction, but Rescue Junction is there for other vulnerable groups also. A 20 year old woman,(we shall call her Pramilla, not her real name) was brought to the centre by the Police, very distressed after bieng found alone and crying on the station. We knew she had run away but pramilla was unable to speak and also suffered from deafness, so specialist counselling was required. It turned out Pramilla was being seriously abused by a male relative. On the basis of medical and other evidence criminal charges have now been made against the perpetrator. Our next task was to find some caring relatives to support her, with access to counselling and supervision of her well being, and this has now been arranged.
We often comment in these reports, What would have happened to Pramilla if Rescue Junction wasn't there?
The sad fact is there is no other programme available in the whole district to help her, the need for Rescue Junction is plain to see. The referring Police Officer commented to the Rescue Junction staff, " I cannot think of a safer place for her than here".
At this festive time please think of the homeless and street children of the world, those abandoned and unloved, who just need someone to care.
Thank you for caring, and helping to keep the centre's doors open to those in need.
The Gaya Rescue Project continues to offer shelter care and a safe environment for children who simply do not have any other place to go. This update contains just two stories of some of the children who have come through the centre recently. With your help we can its doors open.
This is the sad story of Pramilla, Sheethal and little Sonu
Life in Village Bihar can be very hard. According to the Department for International Development in the UK if the State Bihar was a country it would be the sixth poorest in the world.
In early September the centre was contacted by the District Magistrate concerning the distressing case of 3 small girls from an remote village in the area who had no one to care for them.
Their mother died following illness two years ago. And just this month their father died too. It was suggested by some in the village the family were so poor the father had died of starvation, giving what little food he had to his daughters. The government maintained he died of TB. However the last thing he told his eldest daughter, Pramilla before he passed away, was "love and take care of your sisters" , "you are in charge of them now"
Pramilla had no money for a cremation, and with the help of some villagers buried her father outside the village.
As a landless family she had no source of food, but a rice dealer sometimes gave them rice. The villages felt they were going to die from hunger, and without relatives to care for them they took the children to the local block office and demanded that the government help. But as you know the government has no home or facilities for such children, and therefore the authorities formally requested admission to Rescue Junction pending referral to the Child Welfare Committee.
Our staff report that the children arrived thin and traumatized but are settling in well with support and care.
The Trust is making a special appeal for sponsorship for these three girls so that we can provide a full time education and care for them in the long term. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you think you can help.
And then there is the story of Pradeep. He was traveling with his father from Panipat, which is near Delhi. His father got off the train to fetch some drinking water and never returned. Sonu who is about 10 years old, stayed on the train alone until it reached its destination at Gaya, where the police brought him to Rescue Junction. in these cases it is puzzling to us why his father did not register a case of a missing child, but Sonu tells us he knows where his house is in Panipat so we are arranging for him to travel with a member of staff over a thousand miles to find his house, and through the local police, get him back home.
You can see pictures of the girls and Sonu, they have given their consent, but we have changed their names for child protection reasons.
We really do need your help to keep the centre open, its future is by no means assured, every dollar or pound or euro is very important and every penny received by us from the Global Giving page will go towards the Rescue Project. This is our promise to you. As a recent participant of our annual village experience programme, "Rescue Junction is an oasis of love and care".
In order to make your valuable donation go further Starting on October 12, www.GlobalGiving.org is matching at all donations at 30%, 40%, or 50%. The match percentage is based on the size of the donation.
Up to $500 will result in a matching amount of 30%, Up to $1000, 40% and between $1000 and $2,500 50%.
We understand this applies to the USA Global Giving site only. There is $100,000 available in matching funds. The campaign will run until Oct 21 or until matching funds run out.
Thank you all for your generous and most important support, it is helping us reach out and help so many children in need.
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.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
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Project Liason Officer