The little girl, probably 12, had a tormented past and now seeks solace at the transit home which was inaugurated at Government High School Bejai in Mangalore on Tuesday.
Transit homes, an initiative by Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in association with Prajna Counselling Centre was introduced to rehabilitate street urchins, rag pickers, child labourers and children addicted to drugs.
This home acts as a temporary stay and the children will be counselled to overcome the trauma they have faced. The children will be taught hygiene, discipline and most importantly their confidence will be boosted.
Once ready, these children will be rehabilitated permanently in a government residential school where they will be provided eduaction for free.
“Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan conducted a survey and identified 54 children who lived in miserable conditions. These children were admitted to Prajna Counselling Centre as the transit home was under construction. These children were counselled. Now almost a year, most of the children have overcome their trauma. Many show interest in studying and nurture big dreams,” said Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Assistant Coordinator Geetha at the inauguration of the new transit home building at Bejai.
She further revealed that 34 children have already been admitted in various residential schools and 20 will be rehabilitated in the Government residential school which is being constructed in Belthangady.
The transit home was inaugurated by DK ZP President Sahilaja Bhat, by lighting the lamps held by the children. “I hope that the intake of these children will reduce every year. No child should undergo the trauma, these children have faced,” said Bhat and congratulated Prajna Counselling Centre Director Hilda Rayappan for working with these children and giving them a new hope to live.
“I always wanted to study but my parents stopped my eduaction so that I could baby-sit by younger sister. No one cared for my basic needs. Many a times, I craved for a good meal. In transit home, I am given a good meal and even non veg food once a week,” says Prashanth from Marakadda.
“I never knew that I am supposed to brush my teeth. Today I have my very own tooth brush, paste, soap and more importantly people who care for me,” he innocently adds.
He reveals that he has now learnt to read, write and loves all the activities the caretakers of transit homes organise for the inmates.