child at rescue junction
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!