Thursday, 23 September 2010

Railway Children-not the musical or the movie.

As in many other Indian cities the railway station is an important place. Howrah Station in Calcutta is full of travellers off to flung destinations. A hub of activity. For those who can afford there is a five star hotel with every luxury in which to wile away the hours until the train arrives. For members of the huge Calcutta street dwelling community though the most important part of the station is a small booth. It is open for 12 hours a day and any street child can come there for instant information and help. Every day dozens of new children arrive in the city and, with the co-operation of the local police staff form the Ashalayam can meet the newcomers and, if they want to, provide them with a place to stay where they can find comfort and security. They don’t all want – there are small children so overcome with fears the streets seem more welcoming. The booth staff cannot solve all the problems or even speak to all the children, but at least they are available – which is more than any other kind of help is.

No comments:

Post a Comment