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
Rescued Children arriving at Station
Rescued Children arriving at Station

Hi Everyone,

I am Sunita Sharma the Director of Rescue Junction

All the best to you and your families for 2014!

I think you will remember "Operation Bangle" where large numbers of children were rescued from factories in Rajasthan. What we could not tell you at that time was that Operation Bangle Part two had already started , where the Rajasthan Police were continuing to work with the Labour Department and ouselves in identifying other factories where children might be employed.

Under Indian Law it is no longer legal to employ children and the employer can be fined 20,000 rupees for each child which has to go to helping them get an education. Unfortunately  in Rajasthan, and all over India the law is still being flouted and not adequately enforced.  (it helps sometimes if there is an active NGO metaphorically ratting the children's cages until they burst open).

As a result of "Bangle Two" a further 80 child labourers have been rescued from different factories in Rajasthan who came from all over Bihar. An extra coach had to be added to an express train to bring them home. We want to send a clear message  to those who use children for lining their own pockets, wherever we find you - we are coming after you! This is not a case of a son or daughter helping out in the family fields or local shop, these children are mostly under the age of 14 years- some only 9 or 10, this is organised crime for business profit and is a disgrace. With their profits gained from cheap child labour the factory owners and child catchers  send their own children to posh private schools - shame on you, shame on you!

These children deserve as much care and protection and education as any other child .

We are determined to do what we can with your help to stop this abuse of innocence, wherever and whenever we find it.  For this we need your support, and as always I send my heartfelt appreciation to you all.

Please follow our work on Facebook  the link is below as we do try and keep it up to date and you can see our work there.

And a special message for supporters in the UK from March 3rd  if you give to Global Giving UK they will give one pound for every two you give for one week only. This is on Global Giving UK only- the link is below

We are motivated here by your support and we really do need it, no big organisation supports us so thank you all again,

Sunita

 

 

Rescued Children at Rescue Junction
Rescued Children at Rescue Junction

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Spreading the word for helping children
Spreading the word for helping children

Hi everyone,

This is Sunita Sharma, Project Director of the Gaya Rescue project. Here at Rescue Junction  during the past year we have had a record number of street children, homeless children, missing children and trafficked children come through our doors.

I am sure you all remember all the project updates on Global Giving including all those children rescued from Jaipur at the Bangle factory, for just one example. Now of course we are the centre for the 24 hour toll free number 1098 childline for children in distess, and please see the photo of myself  giving the most senior police officer in Gaya a childline friendship band helping  to spread the word with my team in the community, and bringing the issues of child labor and abuse into the forefront.

In my next report I will let you know the exact numbers going through the centre this year in my next report to you, but what a year it has been. 

We also admitted several abandoned baby girls one thrown by a river bank in a sealed bag and who is very lucky to be alive. She has been placed for adoption by an Indian family.

And just a gentle reminder our winter warmth appeal which can be life saving is now on Global Giving here,

http://www.globalgiving.org/microprojects/save-a-childs-life-this-winter-1-1

I asked some of our regular street children to write a little about what the centre means to them, this is what they wrote,

"We are children who live on the station, because we do not know where are parents or families are. Some us have been abandoned here, some ran away because of abuse. Before Rescue Junction nobody cared about us - nobody. We understand that everything at the centre the food we get, the night shelter ,the education toys and games .and people who care about us all comes from the kindness of others who are thinking about us and want to help us start a new life. We do not feel we can say just how much this means to us it is such a wonderful thing. We do not have the words to say how gratefull we are to you all"

Thank you so much". ( translated from Hindi)

Please help us keep our doors open . We need to raise  $20,000 next year to help us maintain all our services for the most vulnerable children and young people.

So please help us.

And thank you for everything you have already helped us achieve.

Have a good festive season and we hope you and your family are all well,

from Sunita

Staff on the Railway Station
Staff on the Railway Station

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Abandoned Children at Rescue Junction
Abandoned Children at Rescue Junction

Hi everyone!

I am so sorry for being a little late with this report we have been so busy ay the centre. If you visit our face book page here https://www.facebook.com/pages/People-First-India/106083302779969 you will see we have another group of supporters visiting the trust at the moment, here is what one person wrote in the visitors book ,

"When we had finished playing games with the children ( it was musical chairs) we were enjoying a cup of tea in the office when some anxious parents arrived. They had a picture of their son, aged 11 years on their phone. He had gone missing one month previously whist outside playing and it was feared that he had been probably abducted . They had come to Rescue Junction as Sunita had called them and told them to see her immediately as she had good news to tell them. Through the work of the specialist staff at the centre her son had been found ( over 1,000 km away) safe and well. The mother burst into tears with absolute relief and was comforted by the staff, even the father was overcome and could only mutter thank you- thank you so much!!

Anybody that spends some time here cannot fail to be impressed with the happiness of the children, the great need for the work they do here, and the absolute dedication of the staff,

I certainly will try and help  and I would recommended anybody else to do so, it is a haven of safety and security  in a dangerous part of the world, especially for children".

 Thank you for your fantastic support everyone, if you time please take a little time to look at the full video of the centers work which can be found here, already nearly 15,000 people have watched it.  http://youtu.be/nBBB-B9Lf1A 

With Thanks to you all,

Sunita

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child at rescue junction
child at rescue junction

Hi Everyone!,

This is Sunita with our regular project update and I hope you are all enjoying pleasant summer weather. Here the monsoon has started but here in our part of Bihar very little rain has fallen in contrast to the terrible floods affecting our fellow Indians in Uttarkhand which is very far from here, but only if you measure in terms of kilometers . Here at People First we are all concerned and all the staff are contributing something from thier salary and even the children have given a little from their pocket money to help relief efforts. I am sure there is a page on GlobalGiving where people can help.

So what's been happening at Rescue Junction since out last "bangle" report? Well as usual quite a lot!  Many comings and goings and we are stepping up our campaign to eradicate child labour from the town of Gaya with raids on shops garages hotels and sadly places where we have received reports of underage sex workers. We have our special appeal of course for girls on GlobalGiving, our special initiative for girls - no abuse for life.

We very recently received information from an anonymous phone call made from Bodhgaya about a Tibetan Refugee who had "purchased" two young boys for domestic labour and was taking them to Dehradun in the Himalayas. Following this information we gained authority from the police to detain and search express trains going in that direction, and after many searches the person was spotted boarding with the children , and he was immediately arrested and subsequently charged , whilst the boys are receiving counseling and support at Rescue Junction. If you visit our Facebook page you can see a copy of the press coverage, without the boys photographs of course.

We now have a toll free number 1098 as part of the nationwide childline system for people to call if they suspect child kidnapping or abuse, and of course for children themselves to call if they need help. We guarantee to respond to urgent calls within 30 minutes, often less.

For all of the ground breaking work of the centre of which I know you are aware we still do not have the support of any big non profit or organization, in fact very few organizations seem to want to reach out to street children in a meaningful way. We have to rely on donations like yours to keep the centre open. We are not idle in seeking funds from other sources perhaps even getting the state government to take responsibility for the welfare of the children in the state, but this work is ongoing and takes time. The example above is just one of dozens of interventions since our last report. it costs $50,000 to run the whole centre for a whole year, reaching out to hundreds of  vulnerable lost and missing children, so every single donation, no matter how small is so important. .

Thanks so much for your help!

Sunita

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Rescued Children at Rescue Junction
Rescued Children at Rescue Junction

Hello Everybody!

Greetings from everybody at Rescue Junction!

In this update I want to tell you a story , the Jaipur Bangle factory story, It is a story of systematic organised child labour ,of the buying and selling of children, some as young as seven and the slavery of young people just for the purpose making a profit.

The story begins some months ago when an off duty Railway Protection Force officer noticed 10 young boys in the company of an older man about to board the Howrah to Jodphur Express at Gaya Junction. After questioning them he arrested the older man and admitted the boys to Rescue Junction. They were all successfully returned home under a parental bond and with help from the labour department towards their education.

But from the counselling given by Rescue Junction staff and interviews with the arrested man by the Police a picture began to emerge of a large scheme in the selling and exporting of children which had gone on for years without any hindrance from the authorities. This was all about to change.

Following on from information received a factory in Jaipur was raided and 60 children were rescued. The staff at Rescue Junction however were convinced there were more children being kept locked up , being made to work long hours with little or no pay, being physically abused in Jaipur over 1000 miles from home. Operation "Full Stop" was begun. Over the next few weeks in conjunction with the police and labour department and officials, (some officers working undercover in Jaipur posing as potential customers)  the process began of gathering evidence:names and addresses of factory owners, the child traffickers, and their modus operandi were all carefully compiled and documented.

The traffickers in Bihar would tell parents their children would only have to work two hours a day would be well cared for and earn a stipend. they told them a school was there for them.

They made them sign what they called "travel documents" and paid them 2,000 INR ( about $40) which were in fact "Bills of Sale". As the children's parent were all desperately poor and illiterate, (after being targeted for their very vulnerability) they had no idea what was written on the documents.

The culmination of all this work was  a combined simultaneous raid by the Ralasthan Police and Labour Department  on many factories, the Times of India in Jaipur covered the story,

JAIPUR: Nearly 184 children, who were working as labourers and rescued in Bharatpur, travelled to Bihar by Kota-Patna Express on Saturday night. Two special bogies were attached to the train for the children.

As many as 210 children were rescued in Bharatpur on March 9 and 13. Apart from the 184 children, a few others belonging to Jharkhand and other states had already left for their states but those from Bihar stayed back for seven days in a childcare home in Bharatpur. Majority of them belonged to the age group of 7 to 14 years. A 12-member team from Bihar reached Bharatpur to take the children back to their houses.

When the children were boarding the train for Bihar, they looked happy as they received many gifts from the state government. The government provided the children with two dresses, one bed-sheet, soap, toothpaste and tiffin box with food and biscuits and water bottles for the journey. Also, the government bore the tickets for the journey.

Bharatpur collector Gyan Prakash Shukla said, "We ensured that the journey of the children are comfortable. So we have arranged two special bogies in Kota-Patna Express. We have provided various items that will be useful for the children in their journey."

Moreover, chief minister Ashok Gehlot has given Rs 10,000 to each child as a relief.

Since there are chances that these children would again work as child labour due to certain reasons, the government has also written to the Bihar government suggesting proper tracking of these rescued children along with their rehabilitation so that these children would not work as labourers again.

Some children were rescued on March 9 when they were travelling in Jodhpur-Sealdah Express along with their alleged agents, who were arrested by the Government Railway Police (GRP). The others were rescued from the same train on last Wednesday.

The Rajasthan State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (RSCPCR) claimed that majority of the children worked as child labourers in Bhatta Basti area in manufacturing units of bangles.
 

            

You can find out more details and pictures on our Facebook page , the link is below.

In the end 183 children arrived at Rescue Junction .

Several arrests on serious charges have been made and all are in Jail.

Whilst the breaking of this child selling ring is a major achievement for all concerned, indeed a discussion between the Chief Minister of Rajasthan and the CM of Bihar has taken place over this very case, and the measures that both State Governments can take to ensure prevention of such schemes in the future, staff at Rescue Junction are under no illusion of the task that lies before them. This is just the beginning and child labour remains a problem as does child abuse and neglect. I believe if India is going to take its place amongst developed nations this kind of abuse must stop, but I am encouraged by the progress in recent years in India regarding child rights. 

Recently our Chairman Deepak Kumar met with the minister of labour in Bihar personally to start the process of a special school offering free education and vocational training  for child labourers. This may be a year or two down the line, but it is a move in the right direction.

In the meantime we need your support to keep the doors of Rescue Junction open 24 hours for all children, no child is ever turned away . For all these services, for all these children reaching out where there exists no alternative provision costs just $50,000 per year. The centre serves over 3,000 meals a month to street homeless and missing children

Please help us reach out to even more of them.

Support rescue Junction today.

Thank you. 

Sunita

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Organization Information

People First Educational Charitable Trust

Location: Bodhgaya, Bihar - India
Website:
Project Leader:
Deepak Kumar
Project Liason Officer
Bodhgaya, Bihar India
$81,841 raised of $100,000 goal
 
1,562 donations
$18,159 to go
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