Society for Children (SOCH) is a nonprofit Organization which works at Bhubaneswar, Berhampur and Puri 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 their 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.
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. It also focuses 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, Berhampur and Puri 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 Counseling Center where they are provided with food, good clothes, first aid, etc. services whenever necessary. This rescue operation is followed by counseling sessions till the child is safely hand over to their parents (with proper involvement of Govt. bodies). During counseling counselor comes to know about the child's problem and parental home address is also traced. Then after child is either reunited with his/her family or referred to Institutional care for further care and protection in case family address is not traced or child don't want to go back home. SOCH being concerned about the well being of the child we have monthly and quarterly follow up system after reunion with family to know the child's status.
From starting of SOCH’s journey i.e. from July, 2012 to till this date we have helped more than 3600 children from railway platforms. Among these children some have been 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 networking with the Stakeholders and Railway Employees till date we have received more than 400 children referrals from their side.
Target Group Addressed:
Society for Children has proved its unique presence in the Railway Stations since last 5 years. It is working especially for Children and save them before going into bad hands by establishing good rapport through network building with the Railway Authorities, all their employees and with various Stakeholders. Here the target audience addressed to are:
- The vulnerable children who have either runaway, are missing due to certain reasons, have lost or been separated from their families during their journey, are being trafficked by the traffickers or have been abandoned by their family members are covered under Project Rakshyak.
- Children who are leading platform lives or street connected children by begging, sweeping/cleaning or selling goods and also few of them have been addicted to certain substances are covered under Project Punarjivan.
- Youths from difficult family background or staying in Child Care Institutions (CCI) who are in need of mentors counseling, life skill training, vocational training and job assistance are covered under Project Pankh.