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Destitute, depressed, runaway children are victims of family issues; society must cooperate: expert.

LAHORE -- Child Protection Welfare Bureau management has

lauded the decision of IG Police Punjab to depute 40 policemen at the institute, home for battered, bruised, and destitute run away children, which braves challenges and pressures, largely by the beggar mafia in the city.

"All the run away children are being collected from the city on the intimation by traffic wardens, civil society and shop keepers on the helpline 1121 which works round the clock", said Saba Sadiq, Chairperson CPWB while talking to reporter here on Sunday.

The CPWB is currently looking after some 280 plus children (including about 100 girls) of every age ranging from one month to 18 years. All of these children are being provided education, health services as well as professional rehabilitation, "The rehabilitated, grown children are studying in Matric, I.Com, FSc, BA levels at various government institutes and CPWB provides them pick and drop facility as well."

A Vocational Training Institute has been set up here and these children are being offered special courses in computer, mechanical and other professions,whereas ulemas of Jamia Naeemia provide them religious education, she said. "Depression, anxiety, hyperactivity, poor concentration are some of the major issues of these runaway street smart children", said Faiqa Hafeez, clinical psychologist at CPWB, while adding,"these children are victims of violence and have suffered heavily due to maladjustment in their own family. A five year old boy ran away from his home after his mother refused to give him Rs 5."

Personality abnormalities of these children require continued, regular counselling and therapies on individual and collective basis.

"Most children have several personas or dual personalities and we have to bring out the real person in them through behavior and cognitive therapies. These reticent, sometimes aggressive, disturbed children are motivated to play games, enter discussions and are

asked to vent out their anger to feel relief, thus get catharsis".

A four-bed hospital is also functional at the CPWB where an expert doctor and two psychologists with other staff provide health/rehabilitation facilities. Serious patients are sent to Mayo, General and children hospital for treatment", she informed. The CPWB has made strict security measures in and outside the building but the street children, who wished to live free, often try to escape. They have tried to bribe security guards just to escape to their street lives, it was learnt through reliable sources.

The officials have urged the people to inform about begging and unidentified children on the recently set up helpline 1121 or at Reception Centers set up at Data Sahib and Lahore Railway Station.

It learnt that a special squad has been formulated which comprises policemen, officials from City District Government and CPWB. The squad visits different chowks, shopping centers, railway station, bus stands and other public places on daily basis and pick begging children. Professional begging groups have strong hold in their areas and donot let their children go. The CPWB has to faces massive pressure by these professional groups who want to get back the little beggars as they are their prime livelihood.

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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Date:May 18, 2015
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