BANGALORE: BOSCO, an NGO that works for children at risk, recently took to 25 major traffic junctions to spread awareness about child beggars.
Jayanagar 4th block, Mysore Circle, Mekri Circle, South End Circle, Mathikere, Koramangala, Gandhinagar and Malleshwaram are some of the areas that saw volunteers with placards at traffic signals.
Dressed in colourful uniforms, volunteers held up placards and banners which displayed messages like ‘stop giving alms to children’. They also distributed pamphlets among commuters.
They were also asked to call the toll free number (1098) in case they came across child beggars.
Jenifer, coordinator Childline BOSCO, said that the response from public was positive and many of them took time out to learn more about the issue. Deepa, an IT employee appreciated the initiative and also pledged to call child help line whenever she comes across a child begging. She also confirmed that in future she would not give alms and save that money to help rescued children instead.
During the campaign, children begging at signals were also rescued.
Though no children were found at the South End Circle, two children were rescued from Mysore Circle. A mother with three children, the youngest being a 4 month old girl, was rescued from the Shantala signal near City Railway Station. “Through this campaign we hope to bring down the number of child beggars in Bangalore. As nothing is being done to rehabilitate these children, the only option is to educate the public. It is difficult but we hope to make a difference,” said P S George, executive director of BOSCO.