Railway Children – India
Railway Children is a UK-based charity that works to protect the millions of children who run away from abuse, violence and poverty and live on the streets and railways of India and around the world
Railway Children is a UK-based charity that works to protect the millions of children living on the streets in India and around the world. Children running away from abuse, violence and poverty use India’s extensive railway network to reach the cities, where they hope to find a better life.
Thousands of children arrive at India's vast, chaotic railway stations and find themselves lost, alone and scared, with no idea where to go or what to do. Their dreams brutally shattered, they end up living on the platforms and the streets. POP will support Railway Children's work in Punjab and Gujarat.
At street level
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 abuse, exploitation and violence. Many children resort to drugs and substance abuse to get through each day. At street level Railway Children workers strive to meet the immediate needs of children at risk on the streets and platforms of India; they have created a number of 'child-friendly stations' with the help and engagement of the people who work there, who now look out for and help children alone and at risk.
With station staff involvement, Railway Children can help more children than it could by itself; outreach workers spend time with children to gain their trust and provide someone to talk to and a safe place in which to stay, while the best long-term solution for their individual circumstances is determined. Railway Children provides child protection booths on platforms and drop-in centres nearby. Where possible, it works to reunite children with their families.
At community level
At community level, Railway Children works to make children on the streets visible to society and to help people understand the issues that cause children to run away and which face them on the streets and on the platforms. By investing time and skills in preventative intervention, 'safety nets' are created within communities to catch children who are at risk of running away before they do so.
At government level
At government level, Railway Children works to persuade policy-makers that children living on the streets should be higher up on India's political agenda and that government policies should provide greater protection and opportunity for them. It also works in an advisory capacity to improve conditions of care and protection in India's government-run children's homes.
Child-friendly stations in India
Dreams Come True is a UK children’s charity whose mission is quite simply to bring joy to children and young people with serious and life-limiting conditions across the country by making their dreams come true
As the largest education charity in India, Pratham operates in 20 states and has helped over 36 million children to date. POP will support Pratham’s work in Punjab and Gujarat