As many as 261 children, including 41 girls, were rescued in the first two weeks of June this year by BOSCO, a city child helpline.

According to the helpline, an average 17 children arrived each day at the city railway station and Kempe Gowda Bus Station from different parts of the country between June 1 and 15 — when the academic year begins.

The helpline volunteers, who studied the reasons, said that a majority of them ran away from home as they were not interested in studies.

BOSCO Executive Director Fr. P.S. George said, “The study also revealed that the parents of these children had not taken sufficient interest regarding their studies.”

High school students

He said that 148 runaways were high school students. Of these, 45 were in class 10.

Another reason for the children to arrive in Bangalore was the availability of work here, which indicates the prevalence of child labour, he said.

However, 25 of them were illiterate and did not know about the Right to Education (RTE) Act, which provides free and compulsory education, he said.

None of the rescued children were interested in studying or excited about meeting friends at the beginning of the academic year.

Most of them said that very little was taught in the beginning of the academic year and hence, they came to the city to watch movies, live on footpaths or do odd jobs.

Reunited

Of the 261 children, 190 were reunited with their families.

The parents were advised to take extra care of these children and educate them, Fr. George said.

As many as 15 children, who had problems with their families, were produced before the Child Welfare Committee and admitted to the BOSCO Centre for education or skill training.

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