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Posted at: Jul 12, 2019, 7:56 AM; last updated: Jul 12, 2019, 9:20 AM (IST)

197 kids rescued from city rly station in a year

Joint initiative

  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Ministry of Railways have jointly taken an initiative to ensure care and protection, security and well-being of such children who come in contact with the Railways.

Naina Mishra

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11

Within a year of the setting up of Child Help Desk Kiosks/Booths at the Chandigarh railway station, 197 children have been rescued from April 2018 to June 2019.

Of these, 163 cases (82 per cent) are those of missing and runaway children. An analysis of these cases revealed that children travel from small towns and rural areas to urban areas, alone or with their families, in search of a livelihood, or in the hope of a better life. However, a large number of children run away from their homes in anger or on impulse.

“Wrong boarding” by children was found to one of the reasons by the rescue team of Childline behind a large number of children going missing at the railway station.

According to the Project Director of Chandigarh Childline, Sangeeta Jund, a large number of children using local or short distance trains also get separated from their guardians as by mistake they board a wrong train and instead of getting off at the neighbouring station, they eventually reach a big junction.

Homeless children residing in urban areas, pavement dwellers, street and working children, child substance abusers and child beggars, who are left to fend for themselves, are classified as “children in need of care and support”. They often end up living on their own in streets, market places and mostly at railway stations.

“Many children are trafficked mainly from railway stations as these are the transit points for trafficking and need focused programmes and attention for rescue and rehabilitation of children who may land there,” said Jund.

How help is provided to such children

Jund said a majority of the calls received at phone-equipped kiosks at railway stations were connected to the call centres of the national Childline. These kiosks help in providing immediate attention to children, who are found alone at railway stations, thereby addressing the issue of runaway, missing, abandoned children and children in other difficult circumstances in an institutionalised manner.

Facilities provided to such children include rest, nutrition, counselling, communication, active integration with other states’ Childline or police networks to locate parents. Till the parents are located, the children are also provided temporary shelter at children homes in the city. These children are produced before the Child Welfare Committee for “restoration and linkages to long-term rehabilitative services”.


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