Approximately 20-25 children in the age group of 6 -18 years are intercepted by Samyog outreach team at Railway platforms ofItarsi every day. Exposed to substance abuse, rag picking, begging, sweeping or selling of tobacco, water bottle, popcorn etc, they are brought to the Drop-in-centre were they first receive counseling and given a space where they can always come to spend some time with themselves in a safe environment, for recreation, assistance, and receive skill training towards better livelihood options. Jeevodaya, Samyog team members are available at the station to intercept these children from 7.30 am to 8.00 pm.
Jeevodaya’s continuous outreach initiative with Railway Authorities, TC, RPF, GRP, Coolies, Vendors, Auto Rickshaw Driver, Passengers and older children have helped sensitize these stakeholders who today plays a major role in not only intercepting the children but also attending to their immediate needs, making sure that the child is safe and brought in notice to the Railway Authority including the Railway Police /GRP who are our most trusted stakeholders.
SHG Group Meeting -
Jeevodaya formed a self help group with the women who were once living with there families at the railway station. After rehabilitating them out of the Railway station in a rented apartment, ensuring all the legal documents that would ensure their rights as a citizen of the country and enrolling their children in schools the Jeevodaya team asked these women if they would too want to become agents of change themselves for their community, which these proud ladies promptly accepted. Today, the SHG group is a team of 10 women who meet monthly, have their group registered under Municipality and work effective for the upliftment of the society they belong from.
conducted 5 days training programme with the help of Jeevodaya SHG(Meri Saheli).
Women from the SHG group along with others from the community of Nala Mohalla
and Ojha Basti were trained in making paper envelop and to connect them
directly to the market.
Samyog also works as Jeevodaya drop-in-center cum night shelter, situated in close proximity to the Railway station it is the first preference of the Railway authority whenever a child is found in a compromised living condition on the platform. It is a 24 hours home for the platform children, children from nearby slums and their families who wish to bring change in their lives. The Samyog Drop-in-Centre includes facilities like Non formal education, tuition, television, music, indoor and outdoor games, drawing, dance, art & craft, first aid etc. which children have easy access to.
Balsabha is organized on a weekly basis for platform and slum children with the objective to create awareness among children on child rights and to encourage them in taking ownership on addressing issues that they face at the station. The process is facilitated by the Jeevodaya team who carefully watches and lay the path for the children to understand their own problems and the initiative that they need to take for their own welfare.
Jeevodaya’sBalmela is one of the most successful programme for children. The programme has been able to mobilize children from all walks of life from platform, to slum dwellers, homeless and also their immediate peers. It is an annual programme were children receive informal interactive sessions on health and hygiene, sanitation and receive bath, haircut together. After the cleanliness regime they are provided with new clothes, a first aid kit and at the end the celebration end with a Gala Lunch.
The occasion also helps these children to identify their inner abilities/ talent, encouraging them to explore there hidden skills through drawing, dancing, music and sports
Reasons identified among children who take refuge at the Railway platform:-
- Ill treatment by parents and peers
- Broken Homes
- In search of work
- Influenced by friends
- Escaped from home for better life in a new city
Interception trend at Railway Platform, Itarsi by place
- Madhya Pradesh
- Uttar Pradesh
Case Story – SAMYOG (shelter)
Asha grew up with 2 of her brothers and 3 sisters at her home in NalaMoholla, Itarsi. Her mother Salma use to sells Gutkha at the railway station along with her elder sister Khushbu. Victim of domestic violence she was burnt severely and left Premnarayan her ex-husband and father of Asha. Since, then her Khushbu was forced to support her house-hold chores while Asha took charge to earn the bread for the family by selling Gutkha at the railway station. Her father realizing the need for education had earlier sent her to school but the appallingfamily circumstances, his own alcohol addiction brought Asha to the platform, were she would sell Gutkha both day and at night. At day her mother would assist her but at night she was left completely alone to sell gutkha on her own which exposed her vulnerable to many forms of abuse including sexual and physical. Her refusal for selling Gutkha at night enraged her father to beat her cruelly leaving her with bruises. Asha was the only bread winning member of the family, with her father completely depended on her.
Asha was in continuous contact of the Jeevodaya outreach team and her plight was known to the railways and Jeevodaya staff members. She was motivated to come to the Drop in centre regularly were she used to receive informal education. Slowly, her father was also counseled and motivated letting him know the dangers that his daughter can face living at the platform at odd hours. After a lot of advocacy with her parents including her mother they were convinced and compelled to stop letting Asha sell Gutkha, during the vulnerable night hours. Completely depended on the earning of the child when she would fail to bring the expected profit at day, her father would still physically and verbally abuse her.
With continuous lobbying and motivation from Jeevodaya and consistent support in preparing theirlegal documents like Aadhar Card, Ration Cardetc,today Asha is completely rehabilitated away from the Railway Platforms with her family. After providing Asha with continuous bridge courses today she has been mainstreamed in to formal education and is studying in Class 5. Her younger sister and brothers also accompany her to the school. She still comes to the Samyogcentre for remedial classes and attends school regularly.