Jamile lost his father at the age of eight and his mother struggled to support the family. He started working at a food stall to help earn some money but it was hard work and long hours. Then the stall owner stopped paying him. Desperate to provide for his family Jamile stole 5,000 rupees (about £60) and ran away. He was ashamed and scared to go home and eventually ended up alone at Sealdah Station in Kolkata.
Jamile spent the next three years fighting for survival in the harsh environment. He was targeted by older boys who stole his money, beat him and sexually abused him. Jamile became one of so many children living on the streets of India, facing violence and exploitation and only finding escape by taking drugs.
Finally he was spotted by one of Railway Children’s rescue workers and taken to a centre where he could be supported and cared for. He started to get his drug addiction under control and eventually agreed to us contacting his family.
Jamile’s mother began making regular visits and as their relationship improved she was helped to support her family so that her son could go back home.
If we had reached Jamile sooner, those three devastating years could have been avoided.