Children are the core of all initiatives in HumaraBachpan. HBT aligns its work with the safety and protection of children from all forms of violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect. In Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha, 232 trains of East Coast Railways pass through every day. Bhubaneswar being the source as well as the destination point to adjacent states, cases of child trafficking, children wandering unaccompanied are increasingly being reported in Bhubaneswar Railway Police station.
Bhubaneswar railway station has become the transit point for traffickers who lure children to nearby cities of Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Telengana with the promise of good jobs. Runway children from different pockets of Odisha are also found taking shelter in the railway station and engaged in begging.
Considering the prevalence of incidence of children at risk in Bhubaneswar railway station, HumaraBachpan Trust with Railway Children India is implementing the project titled, “Children Connected at Railway Station”. The project was implemented in November 2017 with the goal of bringing and enabling sustainable changes in the lives of children at risk particularly runaway children found wandering at railway stations.
• On an average eight to nine children are contacted daily at the railway station of which at least four to five children are helped
• Most cases are that of children running away from home, elopement and child labour
• The children are mostly from Khurda, Ganjam and Mayurbhanj districts of Odisha and the states of West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Gujarat
• Poverty and hunger, lack of opportunities, abuse and neglect by parents and separated from families during travel are the major reasons for children found on railways
• Baseline survey of Bhubaneswar Railway station
• 24*7 outreach conducted at the railway station
• Round the clock counselling provided to children contacted
• Regular awareness and sensitization with concerned stakeholders
• Capacity building and orientation of outreach team
Impact of our work
• 442 children contacted at the railway station and provided counselling
• Rapport established with station level stakeholders; Station Director, Station Manager, Railway Protection Force and Government Railway Police officials, vendors and shopkeepers