Romesh was fourteen years old. He left his widowed mother and three younger sisters
back in Bihar. He took up a long travel of hundreds of miles to find a new future. He reached
Hyderabad, one of the main cities in India.
On reaching the city, he found that the streets were not paved with gold. Finding a job
was not an easy task. Cursed by hunger, he joined a group of rag pickers. He started working
early in the morning and toiled until late evening, only to earn a mere Rs. 10 a day. Life was
not a dream for him.
Luckily, he got a helping hand from “The Child Line” when some rescuer called 1098
helpline. Romesh is now one of the beneficiaries of Andhra Pradesh State based project
for the Elimination of Child Labour.
Many such children fall to similar fate due to domestic violence and abject poverty.
One such example was Shanti, a nine year old kid. She was taken out of the school by her parents and sent to Hyderabad to work in a middle – class home.
She suffered all day long spending her energy on cooking, moping, cleaning and washing clothes.
Worse was to come, the owners locked her up in a tiny room when they went out. She
stayed alone waiting for the day to pass. She recalled her memories with friends at school,
and she wept.
As a direct result of awareness campaigns, the neighbours informed the “Child Labour
Enforcement Team.” She was rescued and is now placed in a girls’ transit home.
Who knows, how many such unreached are waiting to be rescued!
Child Rights and You (CRY) is an organization that believes that children are
citizens and they have their own rights. At CRY, they do not believe in charity.
Nor do they run schools or orphanages. Instead they partner some basic level organizations working for children, their parents and communities. CRY’s role is that of a bridge between child developmental organizations and people working for marginalized children. They gather the support, money and time of the Indians around the world and thousands of field workers across India who struggle to enrich the lives of children.
CRY has freed more than 1 lakh children from hunger, exploitation and illiteracy in
more than 13000 villages and slums. The organization has successfully prevented child
labour in 648 villages across the nation and liberated 1152 villages from child marriages. It
also has 21, 676 out of school children in its account who have now joined schools. These
children are into their childhood with all due opportunities of life.