Society for Education Village Action and Improvement a acclaimed NGO of repute at Tiruchirapalli and surrounding Districts for the past 42 years has entered into an joint venture with Railway Children to implement a project Children in Contact with Railway Stations from December 2017.
As a part of this noble endeavor a round-the-clock Child Assistance Booth has been inaugurated by the Deputy General Manager of Southern Railways at Trichy Railway Junction. The CCRS project has achieved rescue of 550 children and follow up of children including Home Visits between January and August 2018. The different categories of children rescued so far include Runaway children, addicted, child labour, abused, familial disputes, etc.
The objective of this project is to prevent trafficking and to prevent violence against children to strengthen the protection services available for children in vulnerable situations. It is a joint initiative of SEVAI; a Trichy based NGO and Railway Children India, with Financial support and co implementation support from Railway Children India. The Child Assistance booth has been set up in Platform No.1 of Trichy Railway Junction which happens to be one of the significant Railway Junctions in Southern Railways and also serves as a hub between Southern and Northern parts of India.
The Southern Railways has contributed the space required for installation of a World Class Child Assistance Booth in its premises. The DGM, Southern Railways, Chennai inaugurated the Booth on 31stJanuary 2018.
SEVAI Team comprising of 27 members manages Outreach, rescue and rehabilitation by working in shifts. The Child Assistance Booth is equipped with specialized staff by SEVAI and operates round-the-clock at the Tiruchirapalli Railway Junction. The rescued children are brought to the Child Assistance Booth immediately to make them feel comfortable by providing their immediate needs like food, water and clothing. Later these children are shifted to the SEVAIOpen Shelter, which has been approved by Department of Social Defense, Government of Tamilnadu under the JJ Act. The open shelter for children operated jointly by SEVAI and RCI is situated near central bus stand.
After the children reach this Open shelter the staff members provide the children services like Counseling, Non- formal education, Engagement in games and boarding and lodging facilities till they are produce before CWC for further procedures. A Human Capital of 13 members have been exclusively appointed to take care of children arriving at SEVAI-RCI Open Shelter.
Most of the children are comfortable, feel at home in the Open Shelter environment, and have expressed their interest and willingness to extend their stay at our SEVAI-RCI Open Shelter to our staff.
The SEVAI team comprising professionals and experts from various domains and the Field officer deputed by Railway Children India manage the Open Shelter and interact with the rescued children to ascertain their whereabouts, nature of vulnerability and produce the rescued children before the Child Welfare Committee as per the mandated procedure to reunite them with their parents.
The children are provided with balanced diet in Open shelter as per Government stipulated norms. Most runaway children prefer the train as a mode to get away from their homes since it provides them access to travel to longer distances. Child Friendly Space has been created at Open Shelter wherein the child’s right to feel safe, to learn and to play is ensured.
Child Friendly Spaces at SEVAI-RCI Open Shelter provides a safe place for some of the most vulnerable children as designed to address children’s specific needs depending on the crisis state of affairs.
India’s huge, bustling railway stations are perfect for abusers looking to prey on lonely, desperate, vulnerable children. Children are constantly at risk of sexual violence, misuse and violence. Many children resort to drugs and substance abuse to get through each day. Child Help Assistance Booth at Tiruchirapalli Junction is ‘child-friendly’ and has been set up with the help and engagement of SEVAI-Railway Children India.