Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd (HMSI) recently felicitated 54 officials of Railway Protection Force (RPF), GRP, and commercial staff for their dedicated contribution towards protecting children found at and near Delhi railway stations. As part of its Surakshit Bachpan programme, the company has partnered with Railway Children India (RCI) and rescued more than 1,000 children last year.

The felicitation ceremony was held at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, in the presence of chief guest Sunil Kumar, IRTS Officer (retd) & ex-addl member (IT) Railway Board, Vikas Purwar, addl divisional railway manager, Delhi division, Northern Railway, and Harbhajan Singh, director, general & corporate affairs, HMSI.

The main objective of the programme is to provide protection to children against exploitation and abuse and create mass awareness on child-protection issues at various railway stations. The children are attended to by the RPF and the non-commercial officers whose main job is to reunite them with their families. Children whose parents cannot be identified or located are sent to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and open shelters that are run by RCI to ensure their safety and protection, and are provided with basic services like education and health.

The highlights of the Surakshit Bachpan programme are:

  • A 24*7 child help desk reaching out to rehabilitate children in a protected environment
  • Open shelters with food facilities trying to ensure a normal life for these children
  • Training programmes/workshops for senior and midlevel railway personnel

Singh informs CauseBecause that in order to ensure the safety of the rescued children at the shelters, they are under constant supervision of government officials who check on their well-being regularly as well as make efforts to trace their parents. Also, various mass-awareness activities are taken up to educate the public. Training sessions for the RPF, government railway police, non-commercial officers, vendors, etc., are conducted regarding child protection and preventive measures against exploitation. Child-helpline booths have been set up at railway stations and pamphlets are distributed to spread awareness.