In a heartwarming incident, two young friends from Mumbai, who were in the sixth class, embarked on a journey to Udaipur by train after facing disappointment in their exams. Concerned about their future and fearing the potential consequences of failing, the girls were found wandering at the Udaipur train station. Luckily, the Child Line team in Udaipur came to their rescue and provided them with much-needed support and counseling. The two girls had been studying together since their early childhood, and their bond was strong. However, with one of them failing the exam, they worried that their parents might force them to give up their studies, leading to a possible rift in their cherished friendship.
Understanding the seriousness of the situation, the ChildLine team took swift action and contacted the parents of both girls in Mumbai. They arranged counseling sessions for both the students and their parents, aiming to address their concerns and find constructive solutions for their educational journey.
This is not an isolated case, as there have been 8 to 10 instances every month where young children leave their homes over seemingly trivial matters. Over the past year, City ChildLine has received 2354 calls, while Railway ChildLine has received 833 calls, all related to various issues such as missing children, runaways, abuse, medical assistance, shelter, and emotional support.
In recent times, some children feel compelled to leave their homes due to fear. This fear can stem from various sources, such as parental pressure, academic stress, peer bullying, domestic violence, or other forms of abuse. In some cases, children might feel that running away is the only way to escape the overwhelming situations they face at home. Child helpline counseling plays a crucial role in providing emotional support and guidance to children facing various challenges and crises. These helplines offer a safe space where children can freely express their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment or reprisal. Trained counselors empathize with their concerns, offering a non-judgmental and understanding environment to help them cope with difficult situations.
Every child coming to us is counseled and efforts are being made to reunite them with the family. Counseling is also done for the parents of the children leaving home. Parents should not ignore children. After spending time with the children, they should listen to their words. - Yashoda Pandya, President, Child Welfare Committee
Several more cases have occurred in Udaipur in the past
Savina's 12-year-old child, feeling disappointed after not receiving a bicycle from his father, made his way to the railway station. Fortunately, the child was rescued, and the parents were immediately notified. During the counseling sessions that followed, the parents expressed that the child seemed to have new demands every day, and they were unaware of the intensity of his emotions that led him to take such a drastic step. After three days of counseling and support, the child was reunited with the family.
The 16-year-old girl traveled from Agra to Chittorgarh by train and then continued her journey to Udaipur. She was rescued at the railway station, where it was revealed that she was contemplating suicide due to depression. In her bag, several blades were found, and there were cut marks on various parts of her body. During the intervention, the girl shared that she aspired to pursue her studies, but her family compelled her to work as a rag picker instead.
A 14-year-old boy from Neemuch ran away from home, but he was rescued by Railway ChildLine at the station. During counseling, he expressed his desire to study, but his parents were not facilitating his admission into a good school. As a result, he was introduced to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC). The Neemuch ChildLine team, accompanied by the boy's parents, reached Udaipur and took him under their protection.
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