Wednesday, October 20, 2010

BIS #2102 INTERFACE MEETING AT BHARUCH


GUJARAT, OCTOBER 20, 2010: On October 12, 2010 at 12’O’clock, approximately twenty five railway  personnel assembled to attend a meeting at Bharuch (Gujarat) railway station in the ladies waiting room o platform no.one. This meeting was organized by Don Bosco Snehalaya. To begin, all were invited to join in the prayer bhajan – Tumi Ho Mata Pita Tumi Ho. The aim of this meeting was the same as for the previous two meetings held at Baroda and Anand stations, namely: to sensitize railway personnel about the grim conditions and sad realities of street life and to get in touch with one of our caring communities – the railway personnel (TCs, railway staff, railway workers, railway caterers, etc.) to make them aware of these children’s difficulties, to treat the children with respect and dignity, to understand them better and also to enter into a good working relationship with the railway personnel, who are an important contact group for our marginalized boys.

The Director warm heartedly welcomed the participants for the meeting and he introduced the institution and staff to those who were present. Mr. Francis Dodia our outreach coordinator requested the participants to introduce themselves to each other and afterwards he asked them to share their experiences with street children whenever they came across them on the railway stations or in the trains. At the start the thirty odd railway personnel who had gathered for this meeting seemed not to know what to expect but once the Director of Snehalaya explained the purpose of this meeting, all the participants warmed up with genuine interest in this topic of Child Care and Protection, such that when they were asked to share, quite a few of them spontaneously came forward to share their experience regarding these platform boys.

Mr. D.T. Barot, the station superintendent, set the ball rolling with his experiences and this was followed by Mr. Rushi Upadhyay, the CMI of Bharuch station, Mr. Malik Ismail Bapu, the Head of the Caterers Association, some caterers and RPF personnel. All of them showed deep concern for platform kids and were very keen to be of help and do whatever they could for these kids. This was something really encouraging.

After the sharing was over the Director took over with a power point presentation on Snehalaya and Child Care and Protection. In the power point Presentation the work of the institution was well explained. The staff also shared their experience with platform boys. At the end our Outreach Coordinator thanked the entire group of participants for making special time for this meeting. The participants were happy to have this meeting and to give whatever help was required to Don Bosco Snehalaya in its work with railway platform and street children. The participants were very enthusiastic, supportive and cooperative. All in all, this interface meeting seemed to be a good positive step forward in our relations with railway personnel.

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