Vijayawada: Every day one child lands up at Vijayawada Railway station, say police. They are ‘missing’, very often of their own volition. This year almost 156 cases have been registered. Some of them were convinced to go back to their homes with the help of the police. Those who were reluctant to go back, have been sent to rehabilitation centres.
There are different reasons for these young runaways leaving home. The most common reason is difficulty with studies. The others are: harassment at home, unbearable poverty, being cheated. Vijayawada Station seems to have become a a junction point for all these kids. The Divisional Railway manager R. Dhananj-ayulu says, “On average every day one missing child is found at Vijayawada station. It is not a problem for the Railway to counsel them or rehabilitate them. The problem is of society, from which so many children are running away.
“We have identified 156 children this year. There may be even more who have not been traced by us.”The majority of the children have been running away from home, because of family pressures, educational stress or economic reasons. When it gets too much for them, they simply catch a train and land at Vijayawada. When they reach there they have no idea where to go.
Meanwhile, their plight attracts the attention of the Railway Police. They counsel them gently and try to convince them to go back home. But many do not want to go back at any cost. Most of them are children of single parents, whose spouses are harassing these children.The Railway police also counsel the parents of these children, who come to collect them after getting information about their whereabouts.