GUWAHATI, Aug 14 � In an attempt to improve the lives of the downtrodden in the rapidly growing capital city, the Society of Social Transformation and Environment Protection, a non-government organisation active in various fields, has undertaken a project to reach out to the children living along the railway lines.
It needs to be mentioned here that a sordid ambience and lack of care and protection have been pushing many children along the railway lines to experiment with addictive substances, some even going to the extent of taking part in antisocial activities.
�People living along the railway lines in Guwahati city have always been unwanted and neglected, resulting in the dark future of many talented children,� said Baijayanti Kalita, a member of the society.
The society has identified nearly 1,000 talented children up to the age of 14 years who live along the railway lines with the help of Krishan Chakma, a former development trainee of ActionAid India, during his two months of internship with the society.
These children who belong to different communities and religious beliefs are now being provided with training by the society and importantly, the society has not stopped at reaching out to the children alone, but has also come up with a programme to improve the living standard of their families.
�We are now implementing a programme to improve the living standard of these destitute people with minimal support from Lotus Flower Trust of UK,� informed Baijayanti, adding that two informal education centres have been opened for these railway line children.
The informal education centres are located at Railway Gate No 4 and No 2 where more than 100 children have been availing of basic literary as well as numerical skill training.
Besides informal education, a dress-making training is also being run at Gate No 4 for the womenfolk with support from Lotus Flower Trust and so far 14 women have been trained in dress making.
�We have also initiated the process to construct a shelter- cum-school and training centre for these destitute children with support from Lotus Flower Trust and the home is likely to be built by 2012,� said Baijayanti.