Station Work

SourceSamtol Foundation    Date19-May-2016
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Station Work_1  

Mr Vijay Jadhav, from beginning of his career in social services, was obsessed to do something for missing children who run away from their homes for various reasons and come to railway stations. In the year 2006, he started Samatol Foundation for rehabilitation of such runaway children. 

In next 15 years, Samatol Foundation has grown up to greater heights. At Samatol, it’s a continuous process of doing better than yesterday and that’s the key for its success. Since Samatol is not running a hostel, we make every attempt to do proper rehabilitation of the child with their families in their home state. 

The main reason to start the work at railway stations is that Railways is most convenient way to travel for children, who run away from the home. Till date, Samatol has successfully reunited more than 8,000 children with their families.
 
For this, Samatol has created two classifications -
  1. Children who are new to railway station (approximately been there for 5-15 days)
  2. Children who have been living for more than 3 months at the station

There are various number of reasons why children run away from home. These include:

  • Home Problems
    • Single parent or step parent not looking after the child
    • Poverty
    • Pressure and Stress from external parties like school or competition 
    • Negligence and poor family communication
  • Trafficking
    • Trafficking for child labour
    • Trafficking for begging 
  • City Attraction
    • The city is home to attractions like malls, restaurants, multiplexes and places to party 
    • To meet filmstars, cricketors or some come to just to see sea or zoo 
    • Children watch television and films portraying big cities to be the place to make a living and so children try and follow suit 
  • Do Not Know
    • Some children just have no idea as to why they have run away  
  • Samatol currently has a team of 10 people working on the stations. They work in a shift of 8 hours depending on  arrival times of different long route trains.
     
    Station Procedure

    There is a procedure prescribed in Juvenile Justice Act (Care and Protection of Children), 2015 which our volunteers have to follow for any child that comes in their contact. This is crucial in order to comply with all relevant police, medical and governmental requirements while handling of children. 

    The following procedure is observed on the stations for children who are new to railway satiosns :

    1. Observe children who are dwelling on the railway station.
    2. Volunteers introduce Samatol Foundation and explain about it's work for the children.
    3. After a counselling session, once volunteers win confidence of the child, they take all required information and try to understand the child’s problem.
    4. They register the child at railway police station
    5. A Medical test is conducted at a government hospital in accordance with the registered number given at the police station.
    6. They make all efforts, as soon as possible to help the child.
    7. There are several options before volunteers, they can call the parents at station itself and handover the child to them or they can admit him to Balgruh or take the child to either shelter or Man Parivartan Kendra.    

    The following procedure is observed on the stations for children who are staying on railway platforms for a longer period: 

    1. Observe children who are staying on the railway platforms. 
    2. Form their groups by counselling with their families 
    3. Volunteers convince them and guide to join Man Parivartan Kendra 
    4. They register the child at railway police station
    5. A Medical test is conducted at a government hospital in accordance with the registered number given at the police station
    6. Take the childdren to Man Parivartan Kendra 
    Children who have been living on the station for more than 2-3 months, are addicted to substances and have run away from home more than once. Hence, they are admitted to complete the Manparivartan camp before being reunited with their families.