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Rescue Junction Supports Street Children in India

by People First Educational Charitable Trust
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Rescue Junction Supports Street Children in India
Rescue Junction Supports Street Children in India
Rescue Junction Supports Street Children in India
Rescue Junction Supports Street Children in India
Rescue Junction Supports Street Children in India
Rescue Junction Supports Street Children in India
Rescue Junction Supports Street Children in India
Rescue Junction Supports Street Children in India
Rescue Junction Supports Street Children in India
Rescue Junction Supports Street Children in India
Rescue Junction Supports Street Children in India
Rescue Junction Supports Street Children in India
Rescue Junction Supports Street Children in India
Rescue Junction Supports Street Children in India
Rescue Junction Supports Street Children in India
Rescue Junction Supports Street Children in India
Rescue Junction Supports Street Children in India
Rescue Junction Supports Street Children in India
Rescue Junction Supports Street Children in India
Rescue Junction Supports Street Children in India
Rescue Junction Supports Street Children in India
Rescue Junction Supports Street Children in India
Rescue Junction Supports Street Children in India
Children at Rescue Junction with new Sweaters!
Children at Rescue Junction with new Sweaters!

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.

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The girls at Rescue Junction
The girls at Rescue Junction

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 india_peoplefirst@yahoo.com 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.

Pradeep with Sunita
Pradeep with Sunita
Pramilla and Sonu
Pramilla and Sonu
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The kids of Rescue Junction
The kids of Rescue Junction

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.

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Bill Brower visits Rescue Junction
Bill Brower visits Rescue Junction

It was a pleasure to welcome Bill Brower Field Officer for Global Giving to Rescue Junction recently. Global Giving is a key part of our fund raising strategy,

Bill wrote in the visitors book at Rescue Junction, "I am impressed with how thoroughly records are kept and the organisations obvious dedication to the children and their honest work . I am happy our donors are able to contribute towards the upkeep of this valuable work".

Please see photograph of Bill at Rescue Junction

Thanks Bill, and Thanks to Global Giving!

Other news from Rescue Junction Baby Nileen has been placed for adoption by the Child Welfare Committee , this will be an adoption by an Indian family. The story of Brave Tiger Part two will be posted on our next update but his family are now safe. Missing children (Over 20) since the last report have been reunited with their families since the last progress report alone. The children are looking forward to the arrival of volunteers who have joined our village experience programme as this is the time the centre is repainted with the volunteers in bright colours and murals.

Always remember you can keep up with progress of this project by visiting our website at www.peoplefirstindia.net

And it would be great to see an American on our village experience programme, Check it out on our website!

And last but certainly not least, on behalf of all of the children, thanks for all your help and support through Global Giving

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This story indicates how many children in India have such tough lives. Our next update will include the outcome of this story as rescue efforts are well underway. One important piece of news is that the work of Rescue Junction has been recognised by the Government of Bihar, this does not mean funding only recognition of the centres groundbreaking and vitally important work. Please visit our website www.peoplefirstindia.net for regular updates.

The Story of Tiger Tiger is a 14 year old boy who lived at Railway Platform when Rescue Junction open and he started to come to Rescue Junction everyday. His attendance was almost everyday. He started to read and write and interested to study but unfortunately this came late in his life. He lost his father when he was 10 years old and his mother got married with another person so we say he got stepfather and that was the main reason for him to be at Railway platform and his stepfather and mother lived at Slum area in a rented small damp room but last year his mother passed away but Tiger has two brothers and two sisters – ages 15,13,11& 8 and after death of his mother he returned his native village at Rafiganj with all his brothers and sister but one of the persons from Rafiganj took them (all four) to Bhabhua in Bihar for work to Brick factory where he worked 3 months with all his brothers and sisters but again that Brick factory is closed, and they all were shifted at Varanasi in new Brick factory where one of his younger sister is still working in a house as a maid servant, and three worked at Varanasi Brick factory from where Tiger tried to run away but once caught by the person who brought him to Varanasi from Rafiganj and they beat him and threatened to kill him, they made them labour hard without money just on the basis of food but once again Tiger tried and ran away and come to Rescue Junction and now he is at Rescue Junction but he wanted to bring all his sisters and brother to Rescue Junction where they can stay and study, So he needs help either staff can go with him to Varanasi to bring all his brothers and sisters or we may contact other N.G.O or Police.

Thank you for all your support. Tiger and Family are on their way to the safety of Rescue Junction

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Organization Information

People First Educational Charitable Trust

Location: Bodhgaya, Bihar - India
Website:
Project Leader:
Deepak Kumar
Bodhgaya, Bihar India
$67,091 raised of $99,000 goal
 
1,366 donations
$31,909 to go
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