14 November – this is a date dedicated to celebration of childhood around the world – a date where organizations like SATHI recommit ourselves to work for the welfare of children. At, SATHI we celebrated the day with children who were away from their families in our shelters and on railway platforms.
In Delhi and Visakhapatnam, this children’s day was special for both parents and children. Family reunion events were organized in the two locations; 37 children were reunited with their parents.
In Varanasi and Yeshwanthapur, the day was celebrated with distribution of sweets and fun activities in the shelters. In Allahabad and Berhampur, a gathering of children and distribution of sweets on the railway platforms. Children from Kanpur’s shelter enjoyed a day out along with the staff at Bithoor, a tourist attraction near the city.
SATHI Patna team celebrated the day with children staying at Rainbow Foundation’s Open Shelter playing games, singing songs and distribution of sweets.
In recognition of the work done at Kishalaya Govt. Children Home for Boys in North 24 Paraganas, West Bengal, SATHI and Praajak NGOs received the Best Supporter NGO awards from the District Magistrate. The awards were given at a function organized by the Department of Social Welfare, Govt. of West Bengal.
SATHI has been working on restoration of children at Kishalaya since 2014. Praajak has been engaged in conducting educational activities to the children at the Home.
In an emotion filled event, 67 children who had lost contact with their families were reunited with their parents at a ceremony organized by SATHI on 5th July 2017 at Lucknow. These children had either run away from home, trafficked or lost and were rescued from railway stations of Kanpur and Varanasi. There were also some children who had attended a month long home orientation camp in Govt. Children’s Home, Ramnagar near Varanasi.
The children were handed over to their parents in the presence of Smt. Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Cabinet Minister for Women and Child Welfare, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh. Speaking at the event, she said “It is not possible for me to explain in words the happiness of getting a child back who was lost. For any mother, it is the second biggest happiness after the birth of her child”. Appreciating the work of SATHI, she said that when a person starts good work, it is possible to gain the support from society and the government within a short time.
The Minister promised that the government would open more shelters for lost and separated children. She also said that the government will start working soon for begging children and are seeking to collaborate with organizations in this endeavor.
Between April 2016 and March 2017, SATHI and its partner NGOs helped more than 10 thousand children from 18 railway stations across India. This the highest number of children helped in a year in the organizations 25 year history. We are thankful to the support received from the government, our NGO partners and the funding partners for this achievement. The credit also goes to the outreach staff who have done the hard work of patrolling the platforms every day on the look out for children needing care and protection.
This summary report contains a break-up of children helped in various locations and the action taken on the platform.
10 thousand children rescued