What would you do if you were on a train and saw a group of girls crying and looking rather uncomfortable? Would you turn away and mind your business or would you make it your business to find out more?
Adarsh Shrivastava, a passenger onboard the Muzaffarpur-Bandra Awadh Express on July 5, made it his business to find out why a group of 26 girls on the train were crying and looking scared.
What is significant to mention here is that Adarsh’s account was created only on July 5, 2018, and the first post he put out was alerting the authorities about the girls.
He immediately put out a tweet mentioning all the details of the coach and the train he was on.
I am traveling in Avadh express(19040). in s5. in my coach their are 25 girls all are juvenile some of them are crying and all feeling unsecure.@RailMinIndia @PiyushGoyal @PMOIndia @PiyushGoyalOffc @narendramodi @manojsinhabjp @yogi
— Adarsh Shrivastava (@AdarshS74227065) July 5, 2018
A report in Hindustan Times states that officials in Varanasi as well as Lucknow saw the tweeted and swung into action. Within half an hour, they had started investigating the matter.
The publication further stated, “26 girls were found with two men, aged 22 and 55 years. All of them are from West Champaran in Bihar. The girls were being taken from Narkatikyaganj to Idgah. When questioned, the girls were unable to answer anything convincingly, so they have been handed over to the child welfare committee.”
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The quick action taken by the Government Railway Police (GRP) and Railway Police Force (RPF) saved the girls who were between 10 and 14 years of age.
In June 2018, an awareness programme was launched about the number of vulnerable children coming in contact with the Railways as passengers or abandoned, trafficked, runaway children separated from their families.
The programme was launched by Ashwani Lohani, Chairman, Railway Board, along with Stuti Kacker, Chairperson, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).
Speaking at the launch, Ashwani had said, “This campaign has been launched to address the issue of protection of Children across the entire railway system and to sensitise all stakeholders, passengers, vendors, porters. Currently, the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Railways to ensure Care and Protection of Children in contact with Railways is successfully implemented at 88 stations. Now, we intend to implement in 174 stations.”
Such campaigns are indeed helping spread the message and help vulnerable children.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)