Firstly I should mention our esteemed chairman, Mr Deepak Kumar, ( twice Bodhgaya Rotary Club Chairman and member of various local committees including one against child labour ) received a " Gem of the Nation" award from the former president of India, Dr Kalam in front of 3,000 people in Patna, the capital of Bihar recently in recognition of his work for People First Educational Charitable Trust. Congratulations to him! - a richly deserved award. It may prove to be the first of many for Deepak, a true Social Worker and a strong leader fighting untiringly for Social Justice.
Here at Rescue Junction we are now receiving a record number of referrals from all over India, due to the centre now being part of the childline national network. These include child labourers found working in the Himalayas, girls being sold sadly often by their own families into the sex trade at 13 years old.
The traffickers and kidnappers get ever creative at ensnaring girls, One such technique is planting a crying girl when they see a young women or girl going to college alone who says she has got lost and please can you take me home as I don't know where it is, please take to me to this address which she has with her. Of course the address is not home but a place where the girl can be kidnapped or even raped.
The childline number 1098 is toll free and is manned 24 hours a day. Calls from children in distress are responded to immediately.
Did you know the entire running costs of our centre still comes out at $50,000 a year. I want to thank all of you for helping us keep the centre open. Your kindness and generosity is much appreciated.
This update is a little bit different from usual, it is a letter received from a participant in our village experience programme held every year. Volunteers get a chance to work alongside our staff in all of our projects. Shaun refers to Nick and Deepak in the letter, they are the co founders of the Charity.
I hope this update from People First finds you well and that the New Year has got off to a promising start for you and your family.
We have had even by our standards an exceptionally busy start to the New Year, as followers of our Facebook page ( the link is below) will already know we were honoured by a visit from the Bihar Minister of State for Labour, following increasing cooperation with Labour Department in tackling child labour and trafficking. You may also be aware Bodhgaya is the centre of the Buddhist World and organised child begging is an ever present menace. We appeal to all those who visit Bodhgaya (only 13km away from Rescue Junction) please if you want to give- donate to a recognised and reputable organisation rather than individual children. Please help spread the word.
A one day old child, a little Baby Boy was recently found abandoned in a potato field and we were able to place this boy with a caring family awaiting adoption.
He would not have survived the night if he had not been brought to us.
We are currently working with the relevant authorities trying to get trafficked children back home from as afar a field as Delhi and the Himalayas.
I just wanted to say how much we appreciate your continuing support and please look out for the next update keeping you in touch with our work.
With much appreciation,
I hope the New Year brings joy for you and your family!
The cold winter months are here in Bihar now, and the welcoming warmth of Rescue Junction saves many children's lives at this time of year.
I wanted to tell you all an amazing story, sometimes we wonder what we will see come through the door next.
A frightened and cold ten month old child was very recently brought to us by the Police having been found with a bottle of milk crying next to the toilet of an express train as it came into Gaya Junction. We have built up a good relationship with the local media who are very supportive of the project so we turned to them, as well as using our community contacts to try and trace the family. I am pleased to tell you we were able locate the mother, a women living in poverty near a station over 80km or 50 miles away. But she is able to care for her child whom she loves very much.
It turns out her father in a drunken state took the child when the mother went to fetch water and boarded a train. He then left the train at another station, abandoning the child near the toilet. With our support, charges have now been brought against him of what I believe is called in the west “reckless child endangerment”
I want you also to know your support enabled us to buy many warm sweaters and clothing for the children,and we have noticed that many donations came in November from Global Giving UK . They were given anonymously, but whoever you are our children thank you. And thanks to all of you who have shown you really do care about helping change these children’s lives for the better.
God Bless you all,
Dear Friends and Supporters,
May I send my very best compliments of the season to you all from here in Bihar India.
There is much to report from Rescue Junction.
Firstly we hope to be in the future the centre in our for the free child line service in our area. It is a great compliment to be recommended for this vital service. Please look out for future updates with regard to this development.
We have had many admissions since our last report, but of course these emergency admissions are a very important part of our work only, as we provide 24 hour car with food and education for all street children in the area. With regard to the cases we make public we always get permission from the family and the young person concerned to do so, and they agree because they know the more people that know about our work the better chance we have of getting the support we need for the work to continue in the future.
One girl was persuaded by her “boyfriend” to come to Gaya where she was drugged and sadly sexually assaulted before managing to run away from the house where she was kept for 24 hours and entered the nearest police station in a distressed state. After extensive counselling and medical care, and the arrangement of ongoing support she has been reunited with her family. As is often the case neither the girl nor her family wished to press charges against the perpetrators, however the police are aware of them and they are now under supervision. We have to respect the wishes of the victim and family, but you can be sure arrest will be a minute away if these people try anything similar anytime soon. For obvious reasons we are not publishing photographs of the victim in this case.
I have to report to you all a very sad thing. Late at night a woman travelling with a small baby on a local train arrived at Gaya Station. But she had died, and the police arrived just in time to prevent some anti social elements from taking the baby in order perhaps to sell it, they have been arrested.
The very distressed child who we have named Anchal, which means Shelter, is being comforted by female staff at Rescue Junction. The woman (we think the mother) is awaiting a post mortem but remains unidentified. If we cannot trace Anchal’s family we will place her with the nearest recognised adoption home run by Mother Teresa in another district for adoption by a loving Indian family. Contrary to what is sometimes understood there is a waiting list of such families to adopt and so we do not believe in International adoption placements.
We are both inspired and grateful for your wonderful support. I feel I cannot help but mention we have recently received a number of cheques through Global Giving UK from an anonymous source, whoever you are, thank you on behalf of all of our children so much!
And of course to everyone else who made a donation, no matter how small it all helps us to continue to provide these important services to vulnerable children.
Please see the links below for our website and Facebook page.
With Kind Regards,
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Project Liason Officer