Rehab of rescued children worrying Childline

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Guwahati, Jul 20 (UNI) Rehabilitating rescued orphaned children is an easier task for Childline, Guwahati, than making families take back their abandoned wards, with children who take to the streets by their personal choice proving to be a still harder matter.

Most of the beggar-children rescued by the Childline in the city have a home and parents, who come forward to claim their wards promptly, Childline activists informed.

However, the children return to begging, either by choice or by force, immediately after they are taken home.

''When they are forced to do so, there is a hope for redemption.

But most children tell us that they beg by choice as they have no other means,'' the activists said.

The fate of the abandoned children is still worse, with the Childline having to threaten legal recourse to force families to take back their wards.

Referring to a latest case where a boy was rescued on July 12 after being first found on April 4, Childline activists said, ''The boy has a hunched back and a sore wound on his stomach. His parents have the means to look after him, but they have repeatedly tried to abandon their son,'' the activists said.

The boy was handed over to the parents in April after the father had reportedly left the son in the busy Paltan Bazaar area of the city intentionally. The neighbours had alleged that the father had tried doing it earlier also.

The same boy was again rescued from a footpath last week, with the Childline taking the help of the police in getting the boy back to his family.

The children rescued by Childline are sheltered at two homes run by the government, besides at a third run by the Indian Council for Child Welfare, a collaborative agency.

Those interested in studies are admitted to schools, while others are imparted vocational training.

However, the lack of infrastructure is proving to be a stumbling block with a single centre, with 14 people, catering to the entire city and its suburbs.

UNI SG DPM SBC CS1508

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