In recent years the state of Jharkhand has emerged as vulnerable state for trafficking of women and children for forced labour. Thousands of children from Jharkhand are by placement agencies to employers in Delhi and satellite towns such as Noida, Gurgaon, and Faridabad. Children as young as 11 years are placed in homes and made to work as domestic help for 14-16 hours a day. Majority of the children working in the carpet industry in Uttar Pradesh are also from Jharkhand. As per the 2006 NSSO data Jharkhand had 2, 06,000 children working as child labourers.
According to the Crime Investigation Department, about 4,000 children have gone missing in Jharkhand over the past 10 years; of these more than 1000 are yet to be traced. According to NGOs the number of children missing and trafficked is about ten times.
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, coordinator of NDWM Jharkhand 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 Spolding centre in Ranchi.
Yashmin was the first child who was received in the home on 14th July 2012. Since 2012, the Home has served 523 children. The majority of the children are victims of forced child labour, abuse, exploitation and trafficking, while, some are runaways, abandoned children or orphans.
Premashray is a real home to every child who enters it, providing care and protection, psychological support, counseling 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.
- Regular counseling 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, jewelry making, and flower making, are provided daily to all children in the home. The children also have the opportunity to learn also computer, 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 center.
Premashray Shelter Home for Girl Children, Ranchi
Contact: Fr. Chetan Chandran