In recent years the state of Jharkhand has emerged as vulnerable state for trafficking of women and children for forced labour. According to data from Census 2011, the number of child labourers in India is 10.1 million of which 5.6 million are boys and 4.5 million are girls. As per the data of the Crime Investigation Department a total of 2,489 children of the state were reported missing between 2013 and May 2017 and 1,114 of them are still untraceable.
The government of Jharkhand was willing to take initiatives to combat trafficking and to rescue children in forced labour. However, the lack of sufficient homes to shelter and care for the children prevented rescue operations until 2012. Realizing this tremendous need for shelter homes, The Jaan Foundation, a sister concern of the National Domestic Workers Movement (NDWM) stepped up to provide a safe and nurturing place for girl children in Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand.
The initiative was led by Fr. Chetan IMS, representative of Jaan Foundation, who worked with the late Sr. Shalini D’Souza, SCN in Ranchi. Their joint efforts resulted in the opening of the Premashray Transit Shelter home. The home was inaugurated on June 12th 2012, by the then Principal Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development in Jharkhand, with key supporters like Prof. Peter Adriaenssens and Sr. Jeanne Devos ICM in attendance. Premashray is operated by the Jaan Foundation in collaboration with the sisters of Charity of Nazareth, in one of the buildings of the Catherine Spalding centre in Ranchi.
Yashmin was the first child who was received in the home on 14th July 2012. From the year 2012 to July 2021 Premashray has served about 2523 girl children. The number of children who came and have been restored/ rehabilitated is about 2429. The majority of the children are victims of forced child labour, abuse, exploitation, trafficking, child marriage, begging while, some are runaways, abandoned and orphans. In the year 2020 the number of children who were received into the Home was 323 and 304 children were restored/ transferred to their respective place.
Premashray is a real home to every child who enters it, providing care and protection, psychological support, counselling and assistance with other needs. Most children are reunited with their families after due process and under the direction of the Child Welfare Committee, Ranchi, while some of them are shifted to other homes for extended shelter and support.
Different modes of restoration and rehabilitation of shelter home children are practised as directed by the Child Welfare Committee. These include preparation of release statement and documents, attaching of CWC order copy, handing over the personal items kept under safe custody, escort to other district/ states along with police protection, handing over to parents /guardian or legally authorized person. Children with no trace of home or parents/guardians or for whom CWC decides for the child’s best interest are admitted to government residential schools.
- Regular counselling sessions are provided with the on-site psychologist. This helps to understand the child’s emotional state and readiness to make decisions.
- Regular medical examinations are provided to all children by a visiting doctor, and any clinical tests or treatments that are required are administered.
- Informal education is provided to children who had previously dropped out of school and school going children are provided with appropriate school books and materials to continue their education.
- Vocational training and skills training such as, sewing, knitting, painting, jewellery making, and flower making, are provided daily to all children in the home. The children also have the opportunity to learn computer basics, singing, and dancing.
- Girls who stay at the home for extended periods are also given the opportunity to learn the tailoring trade either in the home itself or at a vocational training centre.
Premashraya Shelter Home for Girl Children, Ranchi
Contact: Sr Basanti, Mob. 07368971964 / 9835506350, Land Line – 0651- 2460574