Have you ever wondered about those numerous kids you see on railway platforms etc..? Most of us probably would have and felt helpless too, being able to do nothing. But Vijay Jadhav did more than just feeling helpless and being depressed. He started an organization called ‘Samatol’ [S-Samata (Parity), M-Mamata (affection), T-Tohfa (gift) and L – Lakshya (aim)] for looking after and rehabilitating these kids . I first got to meet Vijay and know about Samtol during an NGO meet in Mumbai in 2010. Wonder why I did not blog about it till now!?!

His presentation had also shocked me, besides being impressed by his work. I knew there were children running away from home, but the numbers quoted were much beyond my expectations!They had conducted a 5-day survey in 2008, which showed that there were 567 children who reached Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus in just those 5 days. πŸ™„ According to him, there are many problems causing this including:

  • Attraction towards City
  • Family problems – Scolded/beaten at home, Orphaned/Broken family, Forced to work/study
  • Employment
  • Educational problems – School fees can’t be paid
  • Getting Lost
  • Trafficking
  • Peer influence – With friends, just a habit (yes, that too!)

Vijay was explaining how easily children can fall into bad company including the underworld, if not approached within the first 48 hours his/her coming to the city 😦

Acc. to Vijay and his team “It has been observed that majority of children take the most crucial decision of their life during their early teen age; to select a different way of life which may be far away from the comfort zone of family and friends. A child feels that his dreams and aspiration can’t be achieved in the atmosphere where he is at present; hence they choose to run away from home and attempt to create their own path to live their dreams.”

And they have been working tirelessly towards this cause since 2006!
Here is a video on Samatol foundation that was showcased during our meet – a must must watch!

For more info on Samatol:

In the news
The Website
Their Blog
On Facebook