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New Delhi, Arvind Walmiki: Railway stations are emerging as the preferred places for parents from underprivileged background to abandon their children. Every year, the numbers are increasing, with no one coming ahead to claim the kids who end up at remand homes.
As there is nobody to take care of them, they stay at platform or on roads and manage their livelihood by indulging in wrongful activities. Children who go missing or are abandoned are mainly in the age group of 7 to 15, where majority being boys.
In 2012, the number of abandoned kids stood at 150 and went up to 187 till till October-end. A GRP official said, “We have seen parents who when asked to come and take their child back either refuse to take them or say they are too poor to bring them up. We feel sad about the sorry state of the children, but at the most we can send them to a remand home.”
Ravi Singh (name changed), 12, an abandoned child now staying at Snehalaya home, said, “I am from Kalyan. After passing class VII when I told my parents that I want to study further, they refused. I took up some odd job and one day I learnt about education, so left home to pursue studies.”
“Here at Snehalaya shelter home, they provide me all basic necessities for free. I plan to study and earn. After that I’ll return home,” he added.
Arjun Patil (name changed), 9, said, “I don’t know when was the last I met my parents. I was left at a railway station and started working at a tea stall. When cops enquired, I got scared and they helped me.
They brought me here and when I grow up, I too, will open a home for the abandoned.”
Dr R Singhal, commissioner of GRP, said, “We want that all the child remand homes to be connected with each other in such a way that we can place the children accordingly. Many kids are from outside Maharashtra.”
Kids found by GRP
Year Rescued Reunited Sent to remand home
2012 1,429 968 451
2013 1,757 1,135 622
2014 2,975 2,514 461