1,400 kids rescued by NGO Sathi

Everyday four to six children, who run away from home and seek refuge on City’s streets or railway platforms, are rescued by this organisation.

The NGO is supported by the Azim Premji Foundation and Every Child UK. Started in 1997, it has branches at 13 railway stations in six states and has rescued over 22,000 children in the past three years.

This year, their annual one- month camp for runaway children commenced on April 21 at Nelamangala in which 24 children participated and were given psycho-social counselling and were engaged in various games and activities.

Unable to withstand the thrashings from his drunk older brother and the humiliation from the seniors in his boys’ hostel, 15-year-old Arun stole Rs 100 and sought refuge at the platform of the Bangalore City railway station.

He was handed over to “Sathi” by the police and it was here he learnt that with courage and love, one can overcome any hurdle.

A confident Arun says: “When they handed me over to this organisation, I feared I would get beaten up as before, but as days passed I started liking this place and the people here. I made new friends. Today I am going back as a happy and confident person.”

The annual valedictory function took place here on May 21 at the Railway Community Centre.

Speaking on the occasion, Nithyananada, Assistant Commandant of Railway Protection Force, said: “It was very difficult to handle these children who were here in the railway station in torn clothes.We did not know what to do with them. Besides, there were no voluntary organisations like Sathi, which is doing a wonderful job.”

Savita Shastri, Programme Officer of Sathi Karnataka, said: “I love children and always wanted to work at the grassroots level. We’ve been successful in transforming the lives of most of the children we’ve come across and are planning to set up many more branches across India.”

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