Sandbach charity’s railway lifeline


Sandbach charity Railway Children has celebrated opening a new Child Help Desk at Salem Station in India.

Launched in partnership with Southern Railways, the help desk is aimed at keeping hundreds of children safe from the dangers of the streets.

The busy and chaotic stations often provide a home for thousands of desperate children that struggle to survive.

A charity spokesman said: “They face poverty, violence and exploitation every day – scavenging for food, collecting empty bottles and rags to earn money or even cleaning trains for a pitiful salary.

“Many of them are trapped – unable or unwilling to find their way home – and have no-one to turn to who will care for and protect them.

“The new Child Help Desk will be providing this essential basic need.

“It will offer advice for children who arrive at Salem whether they are lost, trafficked, abandoned or running away and find the right support to help them.

“Manned by child protection experts it will find safe places for them to stay and help trace families with help from government agencies and the railway police.

“Our recent survey found that two or three children arrive unaccompanied at Salem Station every day.

“Among the 50,000 people and 182 trains that pass through daily, it is easy for these vulnerable children to be lost without trace. Without our intervention their future is bleak.”

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