Centre Name: Arushi
A Victor - Winning Over One's Self
Meera (name changed) a 16 year old came to Arushi Children's Home for Girls from another home. Unaware of her family background and home town, Meera came to Arushi Home with a bundle of nerves and tension. Initially, she remained aloof and lonely. Amidst new people and new environment, Meera felt alienated and upset. She also had behavioural issues and had difficulty mingling with other children.
Given her difficult situation, the Arushi team focused on making Meera comfortable and helping her lead a normal life. To help Meera open up, the counsellor conducted regular sessions with her. The team involved her in various activities and extra-curricular sessions and took her for exposure visits around the city. These efforts bore fruit and Meera slowly came out of her shell. She seemed visibly happy and positive and began interacting with other children and the Arushi team. Meera actively took part in different activities at the Home and voiced her concerns and thoughts.
While having a heart-to-heart conversation with a team member, she mentioned her dream of securing a good job in a big company. The team motivated her to focus on studies. Meera began attending regular in-house classes and diligently studied. Even though Meera was enrolled in a school, she was having difficulties coping with the school curriculum. The team realised that Meera had remained out of school for a very long period of time and found it difficult to adjust to the classroom setting. Therefore, instead of a regular school, Meera was enrolled in the National Institute of Open Schooling. The strategy worked for her. While Meera is working hard to complete her studies, she is maximising the use of her time by interning at Google Cafeteria's service section. She considers this as her first step towards realising her dream of working in a big company.
Meera is still a shy and quiet girl but she has certainly shed off her inhibitions. She has transformed herself into a cooperative and ambitious young girl and is determined to achieve her aspirations. The Arushi team is sure that she will be successful in her life and emerge victorious.
Nurturing A Life
Amoli (name changed) came to Arushi Children's Home for Girls when she was eight years old. Upon her arrival in the Home, Amoli could not speak or express herself. She seemed physically weak and had no memory of her parents or family. Her overall demeanour and body language reflected that she had a disturbing and traumatic childhood.
Being extremely young and fragile, Amoli needed a lot of care. The Arushi team took the mantle of ensuring her well-being. The team conducted her psychological assessment. The findings showed that Amoli suffered from Autism. Soon after her diagnosis, an intervention plan for Amoli's care and treatment was formulated. She was enrolled for treatment sessions at Children First - a leading child mental health service organisation. With regular occupational therapy sessions, Amoli showed massive improvement in her daily living skills and personality. She was also involved in other educational and extra-curricular activities of the centre. Owing to her inclination towards education, Amoli has been enrolled in Educational Society for Special Education Classes. The team has also tied up with Astha NGO - an organisation working for the rights of persons with disability for Amoli's skill building.
The combined effect of these services has shown promising results. Amoli is now able to grasp new things and skills easily, she is able to learn words and concepts through repetition. She has shown improvement in her behaviour as well, she seems very happy and cheerful and spreads positivity wherever she goes. A new active and eager side of her personality is emerging. Building on these results, the team is trying to access pension services and find a suitable career option for Amoli. They aim to lead Amoli on the path of self-sufficiency and independence.
Holding On To A Ray Of Hope
Faraah (name changed) came to Salaam Baalak Trust when she was just six, after being moved from a children's organisation which did not meet the designated legal norms. Spending her childhood in various institutions, she had no information about her parents and family.
Upon her arrival at the Arushi Children's Home for Girls, Faraah was very shy and an introvert and liked to remain in isolation. However, her other behavioural issues worried the Arushi team. She was hyperactive, picked up fights and physically hurt other children. She also had hygiene issues.
The Arushi team noted her behavioural symptoms and provided her immediate support along with medication and counselling, the team also conducted her psycho-social assessment. Based on the assessment and further analysis, Faraah was diagnosed with schizophrenia - the clinical cause behind her violent behaviour. The mental ailment created dual perspectives in Faraah's mind which made her lose touch with reality and caused illusions. Faraah remained in her hypothetical world. She also suffered from immense trauma that made her extremely vulnerable and sensitive.
Faraah was provided treatment by the help of the psychiatrist and the counsellor. With proper medication, now she is stable. Her violent behaviour has reduced remarkably and now she is cordial and friendly with other children at the Home. The Arushi team aims to continuously support her progress and sustain positive changes in her personality. Through these efforts, they hope to lay a foundation for her stable and bright future.
Centre Name: Childline Central
The Best Way Out Is To Sail Through
Anita (name changed) a 16 year old girl came to Delhi with her neighbour who promised her a good job. Excited and thrilled, Anita took the risk of coming to Delhi without her parents' consent. Her single-minded focus was to get a job and become independent. However, little did she know that the neighbour who lured her to Delhi, would sell her as a child labour to a domestic workers' placement agency. Being alone in a strange and big city, Anita had no option but to listen to her employer. She was sent to work as a domestic help in a house where she toiled hard for long hours.
The family where Anita worked constantly reminded her that she was their servant and must obey their orders. She worked hard but for every little mistake she was beaten by her employers. Hopeless and sad, Anita felt she had nowhere to go. Anita was feeling totally trapped in the situation with no way out, however, then a ray of hope emerged. She heard of 1098 CHILDLINE from someone in her neighbourhood. She decided that she would call the number whenever she would be alone. As soon as Anita got this opportunity, she called the CHILDLINE team who rescued her from her employer's home.
Anita was so traumatised that she needed immediate psychological support and shelter. The CHILDLINE team comforted and counselled Anita and provided her shelter in Katyani Children's Home. Once Anita was safe, the fight to secure her rights began. The CHILDLINE team went to Patel Nagar Police Station to file a complaint against Anita's employer. The team also presented Anita before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC). While the Police took time to file the complaint, they conducted a preliminary investigation. The Police counselled Anita but since she was very scared she could not open up to them. Following this, the owner of the domestic workers' placement agency was called who came along with a lady who claimed to be Anita's neighbour. As Anita could not clearly talk about the suffering and torture she went through, the police came to a conclusion that Anita should be handed over to her neighbour till the time investigation was complete. However, the CHILDLINE team opposed this decision vehemently.
The team then took the support of CWC Chairperson and CHILDLINE India Foundation. Through the combined efforts of CHILDLINE and CWC, Anita was transferred to Katyani Home till her parents were found. In the interim, the CHILDLINE team fought for Anita's compensation under the Child Labour regulations. These efforts resulted in Anita being awarded a compensation of INR 146,000 and she was recently reunited with her parents who lived in North 24 Parganas, West Bengal. While going back home, Anita promised the CHILDLINE team that she would never trust a stranger again and inform her parents before making any decision about her career. She also added that it was only because of the persistent efforts of the CHILDLINE team she could sail through this ordeal and thanked them.
Centre Name: Apna Ghar
Care and Love Do Wonders
At the tender age of 10, Ayaan (name changed) was found all alone by the CHILDLINE team in a Hospital in Delhi. His foot was burnt and he was in a lot of pain. The team immediately provided first-aid to Ayaan and presented him before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC). The CWC directed Ayaan's transfer to Apna Ghar Open Shelter. Taking cognisance of Ayaan's physical condition, Apna Ghar team took him to Kalawati Saran Children's Hospital. Apart from providing treatment for Ayaan's injury, his thorough medical check-up was done. His reports revealed that Ayaan was physically weak, his haemoglobin was 4.0 mg/dl which was way below the normal levels. He could barely sit or walk properly. He also remained quiet and extremely still.
Given his severe nutritional problems, Ayaan was transferred to the ICU for blood transfusion. Along with the blood transfusion, Ayaan was provided a special diet. Upon his discharge, Ayaan was given counselling at Apna Ghar Home, special care was taken to ensure he consumes a balanced diet. In a short span of 20 days, Ayaan's health showed massive improvement, his haemoglobin levels increased and there was substantial weight gain. His limbs became strong and he began to crawl and sit. Ayaan also became friendly with the Apna Ghar team. He began expressing himself and played with other children. The team felt as if a stream of positive energy lying dormant in him was activated.
Even though Ayaan was enjoying his stay at Apna Ghar, he missed his family. The Apna Ghar team along with CHILDLINE were constantly trying to track Ayaan's family. While the search was underway, Ayaan's father was also looking for him and he found out that his son was living in a children's home. He came searching for Ayaan to Apna Ghar. His father said that he had come for the treatment of Ayaan's grandmother and since the hospital was very crowded Ayaan was separated from the family. He had looked for Ayaan frantically but could not locate him. His father showed Ayaan's photographs to the team. The team also verified all identity documents brought by the father. After presenting Ayaan before the CWC, he was reunited with his father. Ayaan's father was elated to see him hale and hearty. He told the team that Ayaan seemed healthier than he was at home. He said "Your (Apna Ghar team's) care and concern has really made Ayaan very healthy and smart and because of you I could meet my son again. I will take care of him and never lose him again."