Enrolling Children in Urban difficult circumstanses

Children are compelled or they choose to run away from their home / secured living spaces to escape the environment of abuse, neglect, extreme poverty. Often very small children lose their way and are never able to find their way back home. In fact with the time they lost absolute links with their families. The places where children land up after escaping or getting lost are often more dangerous for these little lives. In India, railway platforms  are among those public spaces where hundreds of children come and often tend to make the platforms their home. Children who live on railway platforms in urban areas face a lot of difficulty as they are constantly exposed to various kinds of vulnerability – abuse, exploitation, begging and crime syndicates.
In West Bengal, CRY Partner Praajak State level Resource organisation of Coalition for Childrens Right to Protection ( CCRP) have been running an initiative – Muktagan (open courtyard) since 2003. This initiative is also a part of Coalition for Child Rights Protection (CCRP) to deal with Children on railway platforms in collaboration with the Railway authority and the Railway Protection Force (RPF). Through this Open Shelter provided by the Railways, the children living on the platforms receive primary education, mid-day meals, wholesome entertainment, an opportunity to bathe, access to government medical services and a safe shelter to spend the night.
Since 19th August 2013 till date Prajak was able to admit 11 children Primary and Upper Primary school. This was a big achievement for CRY Partner – Praajak as they successfully enrolled 11 of these children to formal schools under the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE). Praajak closely worked with Child Welfare Committee (CWC) of the district and District officer of SSA(Sarva Siksha Abhiyan) and ensured formal schooling for these kids. Education has becoming a fundamental right since last four years, however children in need of care and protection (CCNP) often fail to gain enough attention. These children often continue to stay ‘invisible’ to the system.  This one small step towards formal education brings in a lot of hope for these 11 young lives.  After the Durga Puja holidays approximately 5 more children will be admitted.

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