Shakila was just 4years old when a Head Constable spotted her next to a men's toilet in a busy bus station. Something about the look on the child's face made the young police man shudder. It was 9pm, and the police man was off duty and was due to board a bus at 11pm to go to his native village. After drinking a cup of tea when the police man once again saw the child 20 mins later, he saw a man was pawing the child and thrusting some loose notes in her frock. Immediately the police took a spot decision and called me up. This man had attended a training program where I was one of the resource person. I had given my number to the trainees to inform me if they came across any child who was in difficult circumstances. As soon as I recieved the call, I rushed my team to the bus station. My team found the girl in a doped state staring vacantly. Rescue was difficult as it was in a public place, and lot of commotion was created when the team tried to move the child with onlookers reacting and making snide comments. Some strange looking men and women came running fighting with my team to hand over the child as they claimed to be the gaurdian. The police man took charge,shouted at the claimants asking them to come to the station and ensured that the child was safely in my team's hand.
Throughout the journey to the safe home/therapeutic community the child murmured about some liquid and coins. The next few days where a nightmare for the entire team. As the child was a substance abuser and was addicted to thinner and to type-writer eraser. Her body had nail and pinch marks all over and her groin was severely infected. It was very evident that the child was sexually abused/assaulted for a long period and was dependent completely on drugs to keep her going throughout the day. The withdrawal symptoms took weeks to subside. In the meantime some people went to the court and filed kidnap case against us. Investigations revealed that the child was in no way connected to any one of them. On the direction of the legally competant body Shakila was handed over us for further rehabilitation. Shakila was an abondoned child, and inspite of all efforts we could not trace out anything about her past. Shakila was admitted in our Children's Home in the Therapeutic Community.
Today Shakila is 14yrs old, she is a topper in her high school and has just cleared a competitive entrance exam that qualifies her to be admitted in the prestigous Gurukula School( A residential school with high standards of education). The achievements of Shakila and hundreds like her is the true milestone that keeps us going in our mission.
Thanks to this thereapeutic community thousands of severely absued children heal and recover and start a new life. And if they are provided access to opportunities they are no less than any other child.
Lets together create an enabling environment for these children to have a chance in life!
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