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Children running away from abuse, violence and poverty use India's extensive railway network to get to 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.
Children run away or are forced to leave home for a wide variety of reasons, including violence, abuse, poverty or neglect. Many dream of finding work in the cities and a brighter future. Some intend to return to their families with money for food, but end up lost in the chaotic railway network.
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.
In India, we work at major railway stations where our outreach workers race to reach vulnerable children as soon as they arrive on the platform and intervene before an abuser can. We provide food, shelter, safety and support, but our work doesn’t stop there. We make sure things change so children never go back to the streets.
We try to reunite children with their families and if that’s not possible, we find them long-term solutions like placement in care homes. We work with local communities to make children on the streets more visible and we support those communities to protect children and prevent them from being ignored, abused or passed by. We also lobby and collaborate with governments to get the policy changes that keep children safe and off the streets forever.
We believe that no child should ever be forced to live alone and at risk on a railway platform. We want to be able to reach as many children as possible and make a real, lasting difference to their lives. We believe that the more people who help us, the greater the impact we can have, and the more effective our work will be in helping children stay safe.
All donations will be used wisely wherever the need is greatest, for children on the streets in real need.