Protecting over 340 children around Mallickpur Station: a source, transit and destination route for human trafficking, from child protection abuses, sexual exploitation, child labour and child marriage. We work with local agencies and key stakeholders to identify a vulnerable child before an abuser can reach them. Through regular outreach, we provide a Safe Space at the station, an educational 'bridge' course to mainstream children into formal education, counselling and recreation.
Over 12 million children live on the streets of India, while a further 120,000 children arrive onto India's railway platforms annually. Larger cities, like Kolkata, are seen as bastions of hope, employment and new opportunities, encouraging children to escape to new cities. Without any regulation and monitoring of activities at Stations, together with how West Bengal's railway routes and porous borders render it a prime trafficking route to Sealdah Station, children remain prey to abuse.
VITAL provides a 'Space Space' near the platform for children to go to during the day, while parents work, and after school. A 'bridge' course teacher provides non-formal educational support prior to and post-enrolment into formal schools, whilst children also benefit from recreational and sporting activities (with other schools), counselling and psycho-social provisions. Child Rights groups and meetings initiated by children and community groups facilitate community-based protection mechanisms.
Our project will safeguard the Rights to protection, education and healthcare for over 340, first-generation educated children, who will receive birth certificates and enrol into formal schools. Station authorities will monitor incidences of abuse. School enrolment will facilitate children providing for families and access to government healthcare and welfare schemes through identity cards. The Community will be inspired to make a child friendly community, enabling socially-transformative change