MCL visited ‘Kids’ World’, the shelter home for underprivileged children in Bhubaneswar. A recent initiative of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), Kids’ World has become the new address for children of destitute and daily labourers in the city. Managed by ‘Patita Udhar Samiti’, the shelter home has brought smiles on the faces of many children who till a few months back used to roam around the streets of the capital, unattended and neglected.
In just a span of four months, the samiti has rescued 15 children from different areas across the city, all of whom are more than happy to find a home for themselves.
At ‘Kids’ World’, the children are not only being given shelter, they are getting all necessary facilities to lead a normal and healthy life. From getting nutritional food to having regular health check-up sessions, from going to school to attending prayer, yoga and art classes, the children are getting opportunities to learn new things in life that would eventually lead to their holistic development.
And, the results are visibly evident in many children already! When 12-year-old Prashanta Sahu, who was rescued from a trampoline camp, was brought to the shelter home, he was a suppressed child who looked perturbed all the time. Prashanta had no idea about his father and though he used to live with his mother, according to him, she used to leave him for days together and go out to work. Many a times, in the absence of his mother, he had to manage without food.
After being brought to Kids’ World and given proper counselling and care in the last four months, Prashanta has turned into a new leaf! The 12-year-old has not only started school, he is doing extremely well in his class. A student of Class 4, he is particularly good in Mathematics.
“I feel very comfortable here and the best part is I don’t go to sleep in a hungry stomach. There are more kids like me and we all have become good friends. Here, we are not only getting education, initiatives are being taken for our personal development too,” says Prashanta.
Similarly, Munmun Dash (name changed) who was rescued while she was begging on the streets of the capital is a happy girl today. Although living with her mother, Munmun and her younger brother were asked to beg on streets to fend for themselves. They did not have a proper house and had to often sleep on the footpath. Munmun was rescued when she was found begging alone at a traffic signal. However, like Prashanta, she too has started going to school now and appears completely ‘at home’ at Kids’ World.
Not very different is the story of Suman Behera, who too was rescued from the footpath. Like Munmun, Suman too used to beg for a living and his mother used to leave him for days together all alone. However, today he is considered one of the brightest kids at the centre and also a great dancer!
Happy with the improvement in most of the kids, their teacher Swarupananda Choudhury tells MCL, “When these kids were rescued, they were very different from what they are today. When they came here, they had no idea how to talk, how to eat and how to mingle with each other. However, right now, tremendous improvement can be seen in their behaviour. Some of them are doing very well in studies while others are outstanding in extra-curricular activities.”
Abharani Choudhury, president of ‘Patita Udhar Samiti’, in charge of the shelter home feels Kids’ World is one of the best initiatives of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation in recent times. “There are many underprivileged children in the city who become helpless after their parents go to work and there is no one to take care of them. Sometimes due to poverty, these kids are also forced to resort to begging. As a result, they eventually get involved in crime. But by deciding to rehabilitate these kids, BMC has done a wonderful job. Till now, we have rescued more than 15 kids,” she informs.
She further adds, “Some of the kids were rescued when they were begging and we observed that even after two to three days, their ‘begging’ posture remained with them, so used to they were to the process! It was only after continuous counselling that they started behaving as normal kids. Now they are staying happily at ‘Kids’ World’ and have accepted it as their home. For us, that is the biggest achievement.”