Girls at Rescue Junction
This is Riya from Rescue Junction and I would like to wish you all a very happy festive season and I hope that this report finds you and your family well.
One of the things that impressed and still impresses me is that Rescue Junction is home to both girls and boys, which is a little unusual for rescue centres meeting the urgent needs of children in distress. The reason is when the member of parliament for Gaya opened Rescue Junction in 2006 the Trust felt we must help to protect girls from harm and abuse. Recently you might have remembered we launched “Operation Innocence”: here is what Sunita, the previous Rescue Junction Director wrote some months ago
“And I am excited to tell you of our new initiative "Operation Innocence" we are running with the police and other law enforcement agencies in rescuing underage girls from commercial sex abuse. Regular readers of our updates will know we have always done this, but now we have an organised programme. I am happy to tell you all that just a week before acting on information received several underage girls were rescued from a guesthouse in Bodhgaya where they were being used for sex and several arrests were made. They are now receiving counselling under the programme so many of you have supported.”
This programme has continued with some success but we have very limited resources and we urgently need an investigative and enforcement special team with dedicated staff to build on the success of the programme. It is a subject of a special appeal on Global Giving here,
People often ask what happens to the girls you rescue? Well each case is different but the answer is, support, care, protection and most importantly enabling each girl to successfully take their place in school or legitimate employment or further education, and we work closely with families and organisations in other areas to help this process, and to best meet the needs of each particular girl . The legal body responsible for supervising children’s care and welfare, the local Children’s Welfare Committee ) CWC approves the individual programmes and has a supervisory role The comittee was something which Rescue Junction helped set up working closely with the state government and local administration.
So thank you for all your help and concern, you are really helping us to do our very best for these children.
I will leave you with a story from a rescued girl, which was reported some time ago. I am doing so because whilst these extreme cases are mercifully rare locally, they are still happening and it is our wish with your help to stamp them out and eradicate them from our district forever,
Obviously we have changed the name and we will not be publishing photographs which identify children especially in circumstances like this.
Pramilla who is 15 years of age arrived recently deeply traumatised. She was in such a state of shock despite the very intense care and support she was given it was three days before she could slowly begin to describe her terrible ordeal.
She was going for shopping when four boys came from a car and sprayed her face with some substance. She became unconscious. Her memories are not clear but she was kept chained in a dark room for a period she does not remember. After some time she was unchained, but not allowed to leave the room. What happened next is not clear but when the door opened to drug her once again there was only one person ans she screamed so loud and so long ,and kicked and punched her kidnapper injuring herself in the process that so alarmed by the noise her kidnappers fled. She ran from the building in a dazed and shocked state and found her way out to the streets of Gaya where she wandered before finally a woman took some care and accompanied her to the nearest police station, who immediately referred her to us. Subsequent medical examinations proved she had been repeatedly raped, and had been subjected to other horrific sexual assaults.
I am very sad to say cases like Pramilla are not an isolated occurrence, but this level of abuse and crime is truly shocking. Pramilla is responding to care and is already undertaking craft training which is a great therapeutic aid to her recovery, and all efforts are on to locate her family and in time retrace her steps that fateful day and gather evidence which will result in a secure prosecution. A criminal case has been lodged.
I want you to know we do not have any other source of funding for this project specifically so every cent you donate goes towards this important initiative.