HYDERABAD: T. Babu was just another nine year-old when he ran away from home in Kavali. Four years of an orphan’s life, mostly on railway platforms, made him a gutka addict, smelling solutions and all types of alcohol.
He was rescued from the Secunderabad railway station recently by representatives of SATHI (Society for Assistance to Children in Difficult Situations), a voluntary agency that put him through a four-week rehabilitation programme.
B. Suresh of Tandur also spent four years away from his family and home. He spoke of how he had fallen into bad ways after running away from home. He took to chewing tobacco, smelling solutions and consuming alcohol.
The camp was conducted for 16 such children near Ramanpadu Dam near Kothakota of Mahbubnagar district. The first week involved adjusting to camp life, while the second, third and last weeks comprised activity relating to the good versus bad, relationships, life goals and achievements, respectively, said A.V. Roopa Ramesh, SATHI’s Project Officer. While five of the children were united with their parents recently, the rest are in the process of being united. Other agencies who cooperated in the endeavour were Satyam Foundation, Don Bosco and COVA (Confederation of Voluntary Agencies).
Stakeholders in this particular endeavour of SATHI were Madhavudu, Chairman, Child Welfare Committee and Vimala Acharya, a member, Sub-Inspectors U. Narasimha (Railway Protection Force) and Kondala Rao (Government Railway Police), Father Bala Shourie and Turab of COVA.