Western Rly pitches in to set street children on right track
Express News Service
Vadodara, February 18: Western Railway authorities are helping to put street kids on the right track. A few months ago, a classroom for non-formal education being run for street children by the Vikas Jyot Trust (VJT), at the Vadodara railway station, was levelled during construction of platform number 6. Following this, the local women’s welfare committee, comprising of female railway employees and wives of railway employees, approached the railway authorities and asked them to provide an alternate place for developing a new NFE classroom. Railway authorities agreed to give a stretch of land at Jetalpur Road, in the close vicinity of the railway station.
Jyoti Dinesh, street children project co-ordinator for VJT, said they had sought land near the station so that street children from the nearby slum area are benefitted. "Street children don’t come to centers which are out of the way,” said Dinesh. She added that VJT members had already started training street children at the new centre, which is still under construction.
According to her, the old NFE centre on the railway station was not spacious. "Moreover, it was not made of concrete. The newly-constructed centre will be made of concrete and will have extra land for recreational activities for the children,” said Dinesh. "Also, the new center has a good ambience as it is situated beneath a banyan tree,” she added.
KL Pandey, Divisional Railway Manager, said that the railways encourage activities designed for non-formal education of street children. He added that sometimes, these help in tracing runaway children at the railway station. According to railway authorities, many of the street children come from nearby districts such as Anand and Bharuch.