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Welcomes street children living in the Jaipur railway station. The Day Center for children aged 5 to 18 years of age is located near the Railway Station and currently welcomes around 200 children per year, who come there to eat, rest, play and relax in a safe environment.
The term ‘railway children’ is used to refer to those children and adolescents who squat, beg and wander in the railway stations and streets of India. The number of street children in India is estimated to be several million.
The city of Jaipur has a very dense railway network which attracts large numbers of unaccompanied children. Having fled their homes due to poverty, abuse or mistreatment, these children often have nowhere else to go and are in an incredibly vulnerable position. Many of these children fall victim to drug and alcohol abuse, severely increasing their risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. In the worst cases, they can be raped, maimed or exploited. The vast majority of ‘railway children’ must resort to begging and stealing to feed themselves, surviving with very poor nutrition and hygiene standards.
Our project has developed a Day Center which welcomes children aged 5 to 18 years of age. The Day Center is located near the Jaipur Railway Station and currently welcomes around 200 children per year.
Children who come to our center may eat, rest, play and relax in a safe environment. A medical doctor regularly visits the center to provide basic health care services as well as responds to any injuries the children have. This element of the project is important, as many of the children experience injury as a result of scavenging barefoot in garbage collection facilities to find food or items to resell.
As the children have often been mistreated and sexually abused, our dedicated team provides essential psychological support wherever needed. We also act as facilitators for children who have fled their homes and wish to reintegrate into their families. In cases where this is not possible, we further assist children in contacting adoption services.
An important aspect of our work is through advocacy. We believe it is important to enhance the visibility of these street children, as their issues are not usually considered important social or political issues. In addition, as most of these children lack any formal education, we also enroll them into local schools and help them with the development of essential skills. At our Day Center, the children are able to learn, to have fun and to start a new life.
Around 3,000 children have already benefited from the Jaipur Day-Care Center for railway children. With your support, we can continue to provide street children with the only home most have ever known.