Society For Children (SOCH)
An effort to rescue and resettle missing and runaway children, especially those found lost at railway stations in India
Hundreds of children run away from their homes every day in India and are found wandering at various railway stations across the country. A few of them become targets of sexual abusers, and this led to trafficking of many girls into prostitution. Other children get involved in child labour, where they are abused. It’s only very few of these who are actually able to go back/be sent to their families. Most of these children potentially live off and from the streets thereafter. As per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), a child goes missing every 8 minutes in India.View Site
SOCH aims to rescue and resettle missing and runaway children. It also focuses on working children, begging children, street children with behavioural issues, and those children who are on the edge of getting involved in various anti-social activities. The society runs their operations at Bhubaneswar, Berhampur, and Puri stations of Odisha State.
SOCH has three projects, Project “Rakshya”, Project “Punarjivan”, and Project “Pankh”. Project “Rakshya” entails the rescue, aftercare, and immediate support components for children who are rescued.
During the last 3 years of rigorous and dedicated service towards rescue and restoration of the destitute, runaway children under Project Rakshya, SOCH identified a special group of such children who have run away repeatedly and some who have fallen prey to certain addictions.Project “Punarjivan” came to be created to help these children with their behavioral issues.
SOCH also began to find itself bidding farewell to a child once he/she attains the age of 18 without being able to ascertain how the child would sustain her/himself with minimal or no educational standards or professional expertise. Hence, Project “Pankh” was introduced toward the complete social, psychological, spiritual, and economic development of these adults-to-be, and most importantly, to inculcate a sense of responsibility by creating a value system that help them develop as responsible citizens of the future.
From the beginning of SOCH’s journey i.e. from July 2012, till date, they have helped more than 3600 children found on railway platforms. A few among these children have been provided with institutional care and protection. The rest have been happily reunited with their families, in collaboration with Child Welfare Committees.
To help fulfill their mission, SOCH has also been able to build a strong network with Railway employees and relevant stakeholders at the stations where they are present.Due to conscientious networking in partnership they have received more than 400 children referrals from them till date.
SOCH was identified and brought to our attention by Gobinda, who helps drive Mauna Dhwani Operations in Odisha. Go2C helped get USD 3500, from Yale University alumni, to meet the yearly expenses of 13 girls (school, health, etc.) in Odisha as part of Project Pankh. The donation was generously facilitated by the Yale Community.