Young Tina (name changed), who would sort vegetables and fruits in K.R. Market to help out her family — headed by an alcoholic father — had run away from home when she was just seven.
Now 12, Tina, rescued and rehabilitated by BOSCO, is one among the eight street children conferred with the Keerthi Chakra — an award instituted by BOSCO — this year on occasion of Children’s Day.
The award is given to many such children who lead lives on the street but have shown determination to come up in their life against all odds.
Tina is now studying in Class 4 and has been chosen as the Child Rights leader for the Community Empowerment programme. She is now doing her bit to help children break out the life she was once led. She now helps BOSCO identify street children like herself so that they can be rehabilitated.
Assisting Tina in community empowerment is another awardee, Sangeetha (10), who helps in counselling children rescued by the organisation.
Sangeetha, whose mother had passed away, was usually left alone at home by her father who was away most of the time. The child, who didn’t want to stay in the dark all alone, would sit near street lamps and was rescued by BOSCO. Binu Varghese, State Co-ordinator of Missing Children programme, said some of the children chose to continue with the organisation because of dysfunctional families.