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 Children  India Project #9798

Special Initiative for Girls No Abuse for Life

by People First Educational Charitable Trust
Special Initiative for Girls No Abuse for Life
Special Initiative for Girls No Abuse for Life
Special Initiative for Girls No Abuse for Life
Special Initiative for Girls No Abuse for Life
Special Initiative for Girls No Abuse for Life
Special Initiative for Girls No Abuse for Life
Special Initiative for Girls No Abuse for Life
Special Initiative for Girls No Abuse for Life
Special Initiative for Girls No Abuse for Life
Special Initiative for Girls No Abuse for Life
Special Initiative for Girls No Abuse for Life
Special Initiative for Girls No Abuse for Life
Special Initiative for Girls No Abuse for Life
Special Initiative for Girls No Abuse for Life

Namaste everyone.

I hope you are all well…

As you know this project mostly supports girls who have been sexually abused.

Whilst this is often at the hands of people known to them, regular supporters will know from our previous reports of the huge sex scandal in children’s homes in Bihar. These events have affected us here at Rescue Junction which is why they form part of this report.

This is from the BBC…

"The sun rose very slowly for us every morning," a girl rescued from a shelter home in India's Bihar state told an investigator recently. She had cupped her hands together forming a small bowl shape and smiled wanly.

Daylight bled easily into dusk outside, but inside the dank, windowless home, the nights seemed to be without end.

Unknown visitors, she said, would often appear in the dark and sexually assault her.

She was one of 44 girls aged between seven and 17 who lived in a three-storey house in a fetid lane in Muzaffarpur, a grubby town better known for cheap clothes, lacquered bangles and organised crime. They were orphans, runaways, trafficked and the destitute from one of India's poorest states, where 46% of the population is below 17 years of age.

On the afternoon of 30 May 2018, officials arrived at the house and asked the girls to leave. They marched silently into police vans, which drove them to three other homes elsewhere.

Alarm bells had begun ringing in March when officials received a 100-page report about the condition of shelter homes in Bihar by Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), one of India's top social science schools.

Eight researchers from the Mumbai-based school had spent six months in 38 districts, visiting 110 shelter homes, the majority - 71- of them housing children. (They had also visited old age homes, short-stay homes for distressed women and adoption centres.)

The confidential report, parts of which this correspondent has seen, said the conditions at the Muzaffarpur home, run by a local newspaper owner, Brajesh Thakur, were "deplorable", and that it was being run in a "highly questionable manner".

In the aftermath of the enquires into this home over 17 children’s homes were identified where widespread terrible abuse was taking place on a regular basis including here in Gaya where Rescue Junction is situated.

Despite the words of Nitish Kumar Chief Minister of Bihar, who said that ...

the government was "ashamed" at what had occurred at the state care homes.

"The people who have done wrong, who has committed sin, that person will not be spared from any side. It does not matter who that person is. Along with this, we should work to improve the conditions," he said

his government has faced severe criticisms from the highest court in the country ...

The Supreme Court of India has directed the CBI ( Central Bureau of Investigation)  to investigate the “gamut of allegations” involving 17 Bihar shelter homes for children, destitute women, beggars and senior citizens in the aftermath of the case of sexual abuse of children in a Muzaffarpur shelter home in the State.

The CBI is already investigating the Muzaffarpur case as per the orders of the court, which slammed the Nitish Kumar government in the presence of the Bihar Chief Secretary for “not doing its job properly.”

The State, represented by advocates Gopal Singh and Manish Kumar, repeatedly urged the court to not transfer the cases to the CBI, but the court remained firm.

“If the State government had done its job properly, these cases would not have gone to the CBI. You had enough time, yet you did not do your job properly,” Justice Madan B. Lokur told the Bihar side.

The last straw was when the court realised that FIRs so far registered in these cases mention only petty offences. None of the serious offences alleged fail to find mention in the 11 FIRs so far lodged in cases of abuse and torture in the 17 shelter homes. The court, on November 27, gave the government 24 hours to repair the situation or hand over the case to the CBI.

On Wednesday, the Bihar side came up with a “communication” from a police higher-up to the investigation officer, blankly asking the latter to include some serious offences in the FIRs. The court directed the Bihar government to fulfill any request from the CBI team for additional manpower or infrastructure. It ordered that no officer in the team should be transferred during the pendency of the probe.

The probe is on going but all these terrible events have had a big effect on us here at the Junction. Our admissions have increased by 25% with many girls transferred from other homes now closed down. This appeal is for those girls and others like then who need support care and protection and we need your help now more than ever.

We are a non-governmental organisation.

But we have always worked closely with government in areas of child protection and we have achieved much. But we are never afraid to highlight abuse wherever it occurs.

 By supporting this project you also support our work helping to make the community safer for all children as we act a catalyst for positive change.

Thank you and our next report will include stories from the project from the girls who have come to us.. 

Riya 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Rescue Junction
At Rescue Junction

 

One of the most tragic cases we have had at Rescue Junction is Sony (not her real name)

From a very poor family her mother died when she was very small.

Tragically her father died following illness just two years later, leaving Sony and her two sisters orphaned.  

She was 12 years old and her sisters were 9 and 7 years of age. When her father passed away than no one from community came forward to make funeral so this little girl buried her own father, but someone informed Rescue Junction about this story. We rushed to her village and brought all three girls to Rescue Junction. They have been living with us since 2009. We sent them to school and Rescue Junction became her home but last year she graduated college and told us that she wants to work for the children at Rescue Junction and now she became working colleague at Rescue Junction. Two of her sisters are still at Rescue junction and receiving the education because of your support.

As Sony says in her own words..

"I had to bury my father with my two little sisters when I was 12 years of age, we had no one to care for us and we had no food …I am sure we would have perished if it were not for Rescue Junction.

I am proud to work here to help other children like me , without your support for us this help would not be possible so I thank you all from the bottom of my heart."

Sonu

Links:

CHILDRENS DAY AT THE JUNCTION
CHILDRENS DAY AT THE JUNCTION

Namaste to you all…

I am Riya project director of Rescue Junction with a brand-new update for you all about our Girls project here at the Junction.

I thought I would give you some background information to help you understand the kind of problems the children face when they come to us for protection and care,

About 10% are girls who have simply become (accidentally) lost usually whist travelling got on the wrong train or became separated from their family members….

About 20% are girls who have been separated from their families but deliberately, because of poverty or becoming involved in romantic liaisons unsanctioned by family  so they have been abandoned often miles from home.

About 40% a shockingly high figure have been sexually abused by employers, parents or other family members, or figures in authority.

About 20% have actively been trafficked for sexual exploitation.

About 10% come to us for other reasons, including physical abuse and mistreatment  

It can take time for some girls to be able to tell us her story, whilst others want to talk straight away. Our trained staff are guided by the girls, and proceed at their pace counselling them and supporting them at all times. The craft activities help a lot, so does the company of other girls in a similar situation. Ensuring that the girls feel safe is a priority for us all, once they feel safe, they begin to talk to us.

Your donations help us in this process of building self-confidence, making positive future plans with each individual girl and ensuring that support is available to them when they leave us in the local community,

I thank you all for your care and compassion

All the best for the festive season.

Riya, and all at the Junction

PS…. I wish you could the unbridled Joy that a toy brings to a child here at the Junction, please take a look at our toy appeal , the link is below  

 

     

Links:

Children at Rescue Junction
Children at Rescue Junction

Hello Everyone

Over the last month serious child abuse in shelter homes in Bihar have come to light. Particularly girls,

You may ask what this has to do with a project report.

Because of this huge scandal all children’s homes, apart from Rescue Junction have been closed in Gaya. This has put tremendous strain on our already limited resources.

In addition, the authorities have asked a senior management member of our staff to form part of an investigative team.

The local child welfare committee has been disbanded which means that it is difficult to review children and place them according to their best interests.

So not only does our important work continue it is now vital as the only trusted and safe place where vulnerable children can be placed in the entire district is Rescue Junction.  

It is a crisis for us and we need your help.

Our next report will contain some stories from the girls as they have indicated to us that they would like to tell their stories as a warning to others, and because they want you to know how your help has enabled us to change their lives for the better.

For this we send our heartfelt gratitude to you.

Riya

 

This is from the Indian Express.

Girls’ short stay home in Muzaffarpur (NGO Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti): “Running in a highly questionable manner with grave instances of violence… Several girls reported about violence and being abused sexually. This is very serious and needs to be further investigated promptly… The girls had no access to any sort of open space and were literally locked up in their wards, except for when they went to the dining hall to take their meals. Vocational training and recreation were also missing.”

 Boys’ home in Motihari (NGO Nirdesh): “Serious physical violence and sexual abuse reported by residents… One of the staff members was reported to be involved in severe physical violence. Another pattern of abuse we encountered in this home involved the staff beating all children when a child or a group of children made mistakes… The older boys were clubbed… Boys reported sexual abuse and violence.”

Boys’ home in Bhagalpur (NGO Rupam Pragati Samaj Samiti): “Only one member from the staff was reported to be in support of the children, for which he was being targeted by NGO secretary… There were huge stacks of letters (in the complaint box) written by the residents, providing details of violence.”

 Boys’ home in Munger (NGO Panaah): “The boys reported being forced to work for the superintendent, whose residential quarters was in the same premises… One of the older boys, suffering from hearing and speech impairment, and supposedly a good cook, showed us a three-inch-long scar across his cheek from the previous time he was hit by the superintendent.” The report added that the boys’ shelter was housed in a building which also had an observation home for juvenile boys.

 Boys’ home in Gaya (NGO DORD): “Running in a custodial and exploitative manner… Boys were always locked up… (Some) boys said some female staff members were forcing them to write lewd messages and pass them to other female staff members who joined recently. Some boys also complained of being beaten up.”

Government-run observation home in Araria: The report mentions a security guard appointed by Bihar Police who carried out “extreme violence” on the boys. “One of the older boys showed us a mark that went across his entire chest and looked like a compression of muscle tissues in the area and swelling around it,” it says.

* Short stay home for girls in Patna (NGO IKARD): Staffers were found to be “verbally and physically abusive”. The report says a girl was reported to have committed suicide because of the “violent atmosphere” at the shelter. Several girls complained of getting “no clothes, medicines and toiletries”.

* Short stay home for girls and women in Motihari (NGO Sakhi): Also reported instances of physical violence.

* Short stay home for girls in Munger (Novty Welfare Society): Had sub-let a part of the building for a monthly rent of Rs 10,000. The bathrooms had no latches from inside.

Short stay home for girls in Madhepura (NGO Mahila Chetna Vikaa Mandal): Reported to be “coercive”. “One girl reported to have been brought there forcibly from the streets and was not allowed to leave or call her family,” it says.

* Short stay home for girls in Kaimur (NGO Gram Swaraj Sewa Sansthan): Inmates complained that a security guard was “sexually abusive”. “The women/ girls reported that he often passed lewd comments and has inappropriate conduct. The fact that the security guard manages day-to-day affairs at the home provides him undue power and authority over the residents,” says the report.

Speaking to The Sunday Express, Mohammed Tarique, who authored the report, said: “We could not have asked direct questions from inmates about sexual abuse. But several of them opened up and told us harrowing tales of sexual abuse and mental and physical torture. But the larger issue is not just preventing sexual abuse and physical violence, but also taking care of health concerns of inmates, especially children who seldom get immunisation. There are also bigger problems of rehabilitation of inmates at short stay homes.” Tarique said TISS’s Koshish team carried out the study over six months..

 

 

 

Links:

Girls at Rescue Junction with visitor
Girls at Rescue Junction with visitor

 

Namaste !

This Riya, Rescue Project Director

Here is a update of  just two girls recently in Rescue Junction and an updated progress report

The names have been changed and full consent has been given from the girls who have indicated to us that they want thier stories to be told in order to help others...

Original Report Priyanka

My name is Priyanka .I am 16 years of age. 

I am educated to class 10.

In my village I would go the river for call of nature as we don't have toilets in this our village .

I was pounced on by a group of boys I recognised from a nearby village and I was raped. There were five of them.

They covered my mouth to stifle my screams .There was a lot of blood. I passed out.

 I remember after some time being carried to my house by my family

In the days that followed my father was shaking with anger. The boys that did this to me were from a high caste powerfull family. My father feared reprisals for all of us if he went to the Police. 

We are very poor and have no power.

Then in our local market one month later there was a stall from childline .I spoke to the woman there and she explained about the 1098 number free of cost to use for children in trouble.

I went home and some days later I called that number .They were very kind. 

After talking for some time I told them about the rape. 

They said someone will come to your house the very next day.

Two women came to see me with a woman police officer but not in uniform and they took all the details .

They told me don't worry we are here to help. 

Over the next few days they asked me if I would like to stay at Rescue Junction for a while and do a craft course and get support from other girls and staff. I was very happy to go and I feel safe here.

With their support I feel strong enough to bring criminal charges but actually the government child protection department  are bringing the charges with my consent and my support. The boys have been arrested. I understand now that I was not the only girl they attacked.

The family concerned have been warned not to take any actions against me or my family otherwise immediate imprisonment will follow.

The thing is without Rescue Junction I don't think there would have been any consequences for these boys.

I could never have done it alone 

Priyanka 

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT

UPDATE

Priyanka is now back with her own family after receiving craft training and special support in her first weeks at school where she will study up to Class 12. She is a very strong young woman and is now a volunteer at Rescue Junction sharing her experiences and helping to support other girls at the centre.

She gave evidence at the court hearing and all those involved recieved lengthy sentences but being a rich local family, the publicity was difficult for them and the parents are contrite and humble.

Priyanka wants to become a vet and our team are helping her with this..

From original report Maya

Here’s what Maya has to say,

'If all your life no one has ever listened to you, listened to your fears and worries, then Rescue Junction comes as a bit of a shock. Why should I believe that any adults care about me, especially ones I had never met before?

It takes time, and then you realise, my god, these people will stand by me, and in time help me build a new and better life, but first they will listen to me.

For the first time in my life my story is important to someone other than me.

I am no longer alone".  

Maya (name changed) is 15 years old and was rescued from sexual abuse at the hands of her father after neighbours reported hearing frequent screaming and finally called the police.

Thank you for your help, help us continue to help girls like Maya and Priyanka, we really do need and appreciate your support.

With thanks

Riya

UPDATE MAYA

Our counsellors have received special training as their work is sensitive skilled and solid.  

This was a case where family counselling played a big role which took place only after Maya with our support felt comfortable with it.

This take time.

Maya now lives with her brother’s family. Her father still sees her from jail and her case was one of the first in the district where video evidence was allowed (from Rescue Junction). Maya is visited regularly by support staff, and like the other children is free to come to Rescue Junction at any time for advice and support. She is continuing her education and is set on going to college.

Both these girls send they’re thanks to all of you who have supported this project as do I,

Take care,

Riya

  

    

 

 

 

Links:

 

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Organization Information

People First Educational Charitable Trust

Location: Bodhgaya, Bihar - India
Website:
Project Leader:
Deepak Kumar
Bodhgaya, Bihar India
$13,296 raised of $15,000 goal
 
304 donations
$1,704 to go
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