With the aim to help and provide the right kind of counsel and advice to children who are either missing or runaway, the Pune railway station has started a special child-friendly room at its premises (All pictures Courtesy Twitter/@DarshanaJardosh)
With the aim to help and provide the right kind of counsel and advice to children who are either missing or runaway, the Pune railway station has started a special child-friendly room at its premises.
The Pune station has the distinction of having the first such counselling room in Maharashtra and the third in the country. It was inaugurated last week by Renu Sharma, the Pune Divisional Railway Manager.
The child-friendly space is a room designed to ensure that the child feels comfortable and has a small pantry arrangement and library, among others. It will also provide counselling to kids in distress.
Sharing her happiness on this initiative, Sharma said: “It is a proud movement for all of us to provide this facility at our station and this is the first step towards making our stations free of any kind of child trafficking or violence. We have provided dedicated space to this room in the main building on platform number 1 and our RPF policemen are always alert about any child in distress or suspicious movement and immediately provide a helping hand to them.”
This project was a collaborative effort between the Central Railway, the Department of Women and Child Development, Pune, and Hope for the Children Foundation.
Highlighting the significance of this project, Hope for the Children Foundation’s founder and chief executive officer Caroline Audoir De Valter remarked: “Thousands of children go missing or are trafficked in India for sexual and commercial purposes. The railway stations are often the most convenient way to transport these children. While many children who arrive at the stations are subjected to severe violence or abuse, some of them have run away from their homes. We aim to introduce Maharashtra’s first child-friendly railway station model by starting this child-friendly room. Our counsellors will help the child who needs help or has gone missing and any kind of help will be provided by counselling and making him/her comfortable.”
In order to make children and parents reach out to police, child-friendly jackets were also launched. These specially designed jackets in bright and eye-catching colours will help the policemen come across as friends offering support to kids and even parents.
Also read: Bengaluru railway station gets child-friendly zone ‘Kushi Hub’