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17 runaway children back home

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EMOTIONAL REUNION: A woman and her son overcome with emotion in Hubli on Monday.
EMOTIONAL REUNION: A woman and her son overcome with emotion in Hubli on Monday.

Staff Correspondent

An NGO puts them through orientation programme

It was an emotional reunion for the boys

Parents of three boys could not be traced

HUBLI: It was a memorable and emotional reunion with their parents for the 17 children here on Monday. While some spoke in choked voices, some could not utter a single word and tears rolling down their cheeks explained it all.

These children who had left home for flimsy reasons had spent a few days together, in some cases months together on railway platforms, bus stations and on pavements. They had vowed never to return home until a non-governmental organisation found them and motivated them to go back and lead a normal life.

Society for Assistance to Children in Difficult Situation (SATHI), a Raichur-based NGO, had found them in difficult conditions and had organised the reunion programme after putting them through a one-month orientation programme.

Happiness was palpable on the faces of the parents who had come from various districts, including Dharwad, Haveri, Gadag, Raichur, Tumkur, Chikmagalur, and Davangere districts to take back their children.

While some children explained why they had left their “homes” and how they spent days afterwards, their parents listening to them could not control their emotions. Some of the reasons for these children leaving their native places was scolding by parents, poor marks in examination and so on.

At the end of the programme, the organisers handed over the custody of the children to their parents with one last word of advice to the children.

Field Officer for SATHI C.B. Mallikarjun said although they were able to trace the parents of 22 children, only 17 boys were sent back as the parents of the remaining boys could not reach Hubli on Monday. “They are in touch with us and the boys would be handed over to them soon after they contact us”, he said.

However, the parents of three boys could not be traced and steps were being taken to give them a normal life through assistance from philanthropists and other organisations, he said.

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