Stories of Hope
Our work is primarily with children who live on streets and railway platforms, in government care and protection institutions, and also with those children who are particularly vulnerable to social stigma and discrimination. Praajak has targeted intervention programmes for children across 21 districts of the state.
Six year old Bholu belonged to Dhanbad (Jharkhand). He had travelled to Asansol in search of work and he stared picking coal from the goods train. In 2010, he started attending the Muktangan programme running at the station. The staffs facilitated medical care when he fractured his elbow. Gradually he started taking more interest in the education initiatives at the centre as well. He did appear to have some difficulties in learning new concepts. However Bholu soon impressed the staffs with his dedication and willingness to work hard. He attended a 10 days educational camp held in Malda and showed remarkable improvement.

In January 2014, he was admitted in class one at the Jhaljhalia Hindi Primary School in Malda with the help of District Project Officer (DPO) of Sarva Siksha Mission (SSM), Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and District Child Protection Officer (DCPO). Bholu was both nervous and excited. He began to attend school regularly and showed steady progress in academics. The teachers expressed satisfaction with his performance.
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Bijoy Das is currently employed as an outreach worker with Praajak for the Muktangan programme at the railway station. Bijoy first came in contact with the organization eight years ago in 2006. The then 12 year old boy had become a fixture at the Malda station. He had fallen prey to substance abuse as well.

Bijoy had grown up at his maternal grandparentís home. His father was an alcoholic. His mother had left for Delhi with her younger son. In class VI, he was asked to quit his studies. He had to contribute financially as well. He then came to the Malda station.

Bijoy was keen to continue his studies and started attending the on formal study classes in Muktangan. Meanwhile, he even started his business of selling package drinking water. His earnings enabled him to contribute to his family. He also expressed interest in learning driving. He was then referred to Sumangalam, a government run child care institution in Bishnupur. Here he completed his driving course. He also passed his class VII examination. He learnt computers and enjoys updating his facebook account.
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Eight year old Raju Champiya was contacted by Malda Muktangan when?. He was addicted to glue sniffing for how long? . But after initial support provided by us he was referred to Ananda Ashram when? for Institutional Care. He could not cope up with institutional care. He came back to Muktangan.

He attended the education camp when? and was admitted in a formal school. But he soon discontinued and alienated himself from his friends. We suggested medical de- addiction to him and he willingly agreed to undergo the treatment.

He agreed to cooperate and underwent medical de- addiction in a hospital. He decided to go back to his family. His uncle, a primary school teacher was contacted after a long search. He agreed to take Raju under his guardianship. With the help of Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and Child line, Raju was reunified with his family.
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New Alipore Praajak Development Society, 468 A, Block K,New Alipore,Kolkata-700053, West Bengal
Tel (+ 91-33)24000455; Fax: (+ 91-33) 24003439
Email: praajak.kol@gmail.com
Website: www.praajak.org
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