My second internship was in Bangalore Oniyavara Seva Coota (Bosco) during 2007 which has many centers for the children and youth in distress .I was placed in BOSCO Mane , which works for street children .The building is a protected environment, receiving kids under 16 daily from various places in India .They are either runaway children , missing children , child laborers , rag pickers ,abused children or abandoned ones.
Bosco has projects like Rescue & Outreach , to rescue them from different areas of Bangalore mainly from bus stands and railway stations.
The rescued children are then under Bosco’s custody and they are counselled and every effort is taken to collect details from them to unite them back to their families(home placement).Otherwise ,Bosco arranges for other alternatives like vocational training , education , or sending them to Government‘s Child Welfare Centre .
On an average there will be 30 children from interior parts of different states and cities . Some have good exposure to the streets ,so are very clever. They are mainly school dropouts , lie a good deal , are addicted to solutions and drugs , & are involved in theft etc,.
The children are unaware of the importance of education and the opportunities available for them.They are not fit to decide for themselves and when they are let on their own , they jeopardize their future and their families and also manipulate other children!Counseling them, is a challenge for the professionals .The agency needs at least one psychologist for sure! Bosco’s network is very efficient with its branches in many cities in India. Bosco Mane , apparently has got a competent staff and an inert Director !
SJPU & BOSCO :
Juvenile Justice Act was passed in 2000 to have child friendly law procedures & avoid police brutality. This law gives care and protection for children via the SJPU or Special Juvenile Police Unit. SJPU networks with police stations in Bangalore to deal with juveniles. It monitors the Juvenile Justice System & train police to have a friendly approach while handling juveniles. SJPU in BOSCO assists the Juvenile Justice System ,assists in registration of complaints & acquitting juveniles .
I was put in the SJPU project and I had an exposure of the legal procedure in acquitting four boys who had involved themselves in thefts. The SJPU’s role was to assist the concerned families and the police . I had to file reports for SJPU.
CHILD LINE & BOSCO:
Once during my internship in the Documentation Office , I saw a one month old baby brought by the Staff :
The baby was abandoned on a track . A stranger seeing the approaching train had miraculously rescued the baby from death putting his life in a jeopardy .Having
besieged by this ordeal , he wanted to adopt the baby . He was ready to go through the legal procedures but according to the laws of adoption the person was unfit to adopt .So SJPU had to involve itself in the issue.
Child line is a project undertaken by BOSCO. 1098 is a toll free number to contact
regarding missing children or street children or child laborers etc. Once a complaint is giving the Child line team goes for rescue. Child Line networks with Government hospitals , police stations ,orphanages, Child Lines in other cities and other NGOs to rescue children and intervene on them.
Regarding Child Rights & physically , verbally , sexually abused children , missing children, child laborers , children in distress , orphans , destitute children , street children , children in conflict with law , runaway children – call 1098, explain the situation & tell the address. Child Line will come to their rescue . Anyone can call from public booths .The children themselves can call and protect themselves in times of distress . 1098 works in many cities in India across 25 states.
Next time you may not have to feel guilty when you see child laborers in posh restaurants or work places etc. Call 1098 , its going to take just two minutes of your time.