Railways to set up short stay homes for children in need

• In a first, the railways would set up short stay homes at stations for children found on its premises and in need of immediate care and protection. As a pilot project, such shelters and help desks will be set up at or adjacent to railway stations in Delhi, Guwahati, Danapur, Samastipur and Ahmedabad.

• The 2,000 sq feet shelter home would be able to accommodate around 25 children and provide nutrition, psycho-social and medical aid. It would be used as a transit in restoring the children with their families in accordance with the Juvenile Justice Act and the POCSO (Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences) Act.

• The railway women welfare organization will be in charge of the project and will sign a memorandum of understanding with child-centric NGOs to be nominated by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

• Concerned zonal railways have been asked to allot the required space at these five railway stations. The short stay homes will consist of a 1,000 sq feet dormitory, a 75 sq feet sick room, a 125 sq feet storeroom, two toilets and two bathrooms.

• A 500 sq feet office will be given to the person in charge of the shelter.

• Railways will provide a caretaker to guard the shelter, which will be built either on the station premises or in a railway owned infrastructure nearby.

• According to data, around 35,000 children, who had either left home on their own or were trafficked, were rescued from railway stations or trains in the last four years.

• In Delhi alone, 820 trafficked children were rescued from railway stations between January and May this year.

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