In the span of just over three years, 3,000 street children in Delhi have been rescued and rehabilitated. And it’s all thanks to the efforts of the Delhi police that has joined hands with an NGO to make this possible. Chetna, a group started in 2002, works towards empowering children from underprivileged backgrounds; especially those who are runaways or ones that have been forced to live in the streets and take to a life of petty crimes. In a bid to give these children a second chance at life, the railway wing of the Delhi police connected with Chetna to start an ‘Open Basic Education Programme’ to rehabilitate these children. In fact, they have also started a school in the Nizamuddin police station.
The initiative has become so successful that more children are approaching to be part of it.According to the NGO, since many runaways arrive in Delhi through trains, it is imperative to target railway platforms to find children in need of rescue. They note that about 40-50 such children come every day on trains to Delhi.Maneesha Bhatia, who is a volunteer in this initiative, spoke about it to Hindustan Times saying, “Our objective is to rescue trafficked children, rehabilitate those who are away from their home and prevent them from becoming victims of drug abuse. In the school that operates from the police station, teachers from NGOs take care of children and we have seen encouraging results.”
Children who are rescued are not only given another chance at securing education to help them escape their circumstances, they are also given health check-ups and provided with refreshments. The organisation has also reunited 6,000 children found in railway platforms in the neighbouring regions with their families since 2006.
Image for representation. Photo source: Wikimedia