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Railway Children India Ensures safe childhood for kids at risk of taking to the streets

Railway Children India
Children at Children's help desk at Railway Station

Railway Children India is Ensuring safe childhood for children

Railway Children India – Millions of children around the world are forced to survive on the streets alone. Every five minutes, a child arrives alone at a railway station in India. According to a recent news report, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) rescued over 17,000 children, many of whom were in the hands of traffickers.

Children are forced or leave their homes for a variety of reasons, including violence, abuse, poverty, or neglect. Many people dream of a better future in cities, while others intend to return to their families with food money, only to become lost in the chaotic world of the streets.

Railway Children India saves a newborn child (RCI)

A 15-day-old baby girl found abandoned at the Delhi Sarai Rohilla Railway Station is one such heartbreaking story. When the team member of Railway Children India (RCI) was discovered, the Delhi Sarai Rohilla’s Government Rail Police (GRP) immediately contacted her, requesting assistance from the female staff of the Child Assistance Booth (CAB).

For her safety, RCI team members discovered the baby lying on a table at the Police Station. The baby was immediately fed lukewarm milk, and an investigation into how the child got to the platform began. The CAB personnel began inquiring with several railway employees who were working on the platform at the time. Despite their best efforts, the CAB and GRP were unable to discover how the baby girl arrived at the railway station.

Further investigation, speaking with platform vendors, and reviewing surveillance footage led to the conclusion that the baby was abandoned by her mother. She was holding a baby when she entered the station, but she was not holding a baby when she exited. This proved that the lady had abandoned the baby.

When the family was found, the father had no idea his wife had left their child at the station. The mother burst into tears as she apologised for her error.

“Our 24-hour outreach teams, together with Government Railway Police and the Railway Protection Force, work around the clock to identify children who are and alone at risk at railway stations,” says a key spokesperson for Railway Children India. We collaborate with existing child protection systems to find the best short-term and long-term solution for them, whether that is reunification with family or access to a child care institute.”

Furthermore, at each station location, they have established a 24-hour Child Help Desk, where children at risk can go for food, water, first aid, and counselling.

RCI collaborates with shelter homes to provide short-term care for children who do not have a safe place to stay. Children can get educational, recreational, nutritional, health, hygiene, and counselling services here.

If education is not an option, children are encouraged to pursue vocational training and non-formal education in order to secure a future income.

Railway Children India has been designated as a resource agency for the Indian Railways, with the goal of developing Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) with the goal of building child-friendly stations across India while increasing the capacity of railway officials and staff through the Railway Protection Force Training Academy and Railway Protection Force Zonal Training centres.

RCI is dedicated to reaching children before they become homeless.