Organizational Background :
Society for Children (SOCH) is a nonprofit Organization which works at Bhubaneswar, Khurda and Brahmapur Railway Stations. It works to rescue children who are lost, missing and have run away from their homes. The main philosophy of the organization is that the safest and happiest place for children is their homes. Hence, the first step which the organization takes after rescuing a child is to contact the family of the child, understand the reasons of runaway or missing in comprehensive way. SOCH involves Govt. System and put all efforts to reunite the children with their family.
Along with tracing and connecting them with their families, the Organization also aims to provide counseling to the child as well as its parents. The counselor tries to understand the reason for leaving home and helps the child understand the ill effects of platform life. Also parents are provided psycho education for maintaining healthy relation with child.
Mr. Manoj Kumar Swain, born and brought up in a small village of Odisha, did his bachelor degree in chemistry, joined Tata Institute of Social Science, Mumbai to pursue Post Graduate Diploma in Child Rights. During this period, he got sensitized with the issue of child exploitation and decided to work for them. He served SATHI, a national level NGO working for street children, managing their projects at various locations for three years. During this period, he came to know that many children are being trafficked from states like Odisha, Bihar, West Bengal, etc to metro cities. Just to start his journey for saving the lives of the children. He founded Society for Children (SOCH) with a few like minded people from society in July 2012. He has also studied Master in Social Entrepreneurship at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
Organizational Vision & Mission :
To create a just society, where all children are living happily, enjoying all their due rights.
To realize the rights of deprived children and their rehabilitation.
Organization’s Aim and Objectives :
- To rescue and resettle runaway, missing, abducted and abandoned children. First priority will be given to family reunion and last option for Institutional Care.
- To rescue and resettle working children.
- To rescue and resettle begging children.
- To rescue and rehabilitate addicted and hard behavior street children through de-addiction and behavioral modification camp.
- To provide health care service for children.
- To give safe and nurtured environment for orphan children.
- To give safe and nurtured environment for physically and mentally challenged children.
- To encourage foster parenting and alternative care for children in need of care and protection.
Project Background :
Daily hundreds of children (boy/girl) run away from their homes and land at various Railway Stations. Some of them also get trafficked basically girl child are caught up for prostitution. Also the children get involved in the child labour where they are abused. A very small portion of the children only are able to reach back their family. Whereas other got involved to become a potential street child.
SOCH aims to rescue and resettle the missing and runaway children. We are also focusing on working children, begging children, hard behaviour street children and before those who are getting involved in various anti social activities. We are running this project at Bhubaneswar, Khurda and Brahmapur Station of Odisha State. We build strong network with all the Railway employees and Stakeholders. We sensitize them regarding our work for the needy children and the way they can also extend their hands for help.
For rescue of the children we do Outreach at platforms. Outreach workers of the Organization do patrolling at the platforms, in order to cover the railway station for maximum period of time in the day. After the child is rescued, he/she is brought to temporary shelter where is provided with food, good clothes, non formal education etc. Also provided with first aid services whenever necessary. This rescue operation is followed by counseling sessions till the child is safely hand over to their parents. In this counseling counselor comes to know about the child's problem and home address is also traced. Then after child is reunited to his/ her family. In case family address not traced or child don't want to go back home, SOCH refers the child to the Institution for further care and protection. SOCH being concerned about the well being of the child follow up is done after reunited with family. To know the child's status it is done after every one month and three months gap.
From starting SOCH’s journey i.e. from July, 2012 to till this date we have helped more than One thousand four hundred twenty three children from railway platforms. Among these children some are provided with Institutional Care and protection and rest others are happily reunited with their families by the collaboration of Child Welfare Committee and due to best efforts of SOCH Staff. Due to our strong networks with the Railway Employees as well as with all stakeholders till date we have got many referrals (approx 110 children) from their side.
Target Group Addressed :
Society for Children has proved its unique presence in the Railway Stations, Bhubaneswar and Khurda as well of Odisha State from last 2 years. It is working especially for Children by establishing good rapport by network building with the Railway Authorities, all their employees and with various Stakeholders. Till date above 1123 of children are rescued from Railway Stations, before going into bad hands. The children are then brought to shelter, counseled, provided with clothes and food. In this two years of journey so far, we have home placed around 656 children with their family members. Other children are referred to GRP, RPF, and Child Welfare Committee and also to other Institutional Care.