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Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow:
1. Ramesh was found crying in the Pune railway station. A broker who had promised him a good job in the city had abandoned him on the platform. The child from Mehboob Nagar in Andhra Pradesh would have never seen his parents again if he had not been rescued by SATHI, an NGO working with children living on railway platforms and streets.
2. Rescuing children from the platforms, providing shelter and care, returning them home safely and doing a follow up to ensure their wellbeing is not an easy task. But Bangalore-based SATHI has done this with 14,000 children across India including 500 girls and continues to help almost 340 children every month.
3. Due to the organisation’s core competence in repatriating children from anywhere in the country, the Government Children’s Homes in Bangalore, Pune and Patna have called upon SATHI to help them.
4. A research conducted by SATHI says that it is a misconception that children living in platforms are abandoned or are from wrecked homes. In reality, most of the children flee home without a thought and cannot retract their actions either because they have no money or are too frightened to go back. “We rescue 50 children daily from the platforms across the country. Some of these children get lost even as their parents search for them desperately,” said Anjali, project officer, SATHI.
5. Life on the platform is not easy. The longer a child lives on the platform, the more he falls prey to addictions, sexual abuse, petty thefts and odd jobs for survival. There is no place like home for a child except for extreme cases of abuse and poverty and the organisation’s first course of action is “home placement”. As SATHI’s secretary, Pramod Kulkarni says, “A child on the platform never grows up, he just ages. Early intervention not only saves the child from the dangers of platform life but also makes repatriation easier as the child is more willing to go back home.”
6. But, it is not an easy task. The organisation staff scour the platforms across the country from morning till night. Children are rescued from the platforms and are placed within the safe confines of the SATHI shelters. They are counselled and those who are willing to go back home are taken to their families as soon as possible.
7. Others who are reluctant to go back home are enrolled in “home orientation camps”. Love, guidance and care provided, it paves the way for the effective development of problem-solving and social skills needed to build self-esteem and renew family ties. Children addicted to substance abuse are sent to de-addiction camps.
On the basis of your understanding of the above passage answer each of the questions given below with the help of options that follow:
(a) Ramesh was found crying because
(i) he had been beaten by other children
(ii) he had been abandoned by his parents
(iii) he had been abandoned by a man who had promised him a job
(iv) all of the above
(b) the end of Ramesh’s story is
(i) happy (ii) sad
(iii) unresolved (iv) none of the above
(c) SATHI is an organization
(i) helping abandoned children in India
(ii) building homes for abandoned children
(iii) feeding abandoned children
(ii) none of the above
(d) The research conducted by SATHI has shown that children often run away from their homes
(i) because they are poverty-stricken
(ii) because they belong to disturbed families
(iii) without any valid reason
(iv) none of the above
Answer the following questions briefly in your own words:
(e) Why does the writer consider Ramesh a lucky boy?
(f) What is the main contribution of the NGO, SATHI?
(g) Why do runaway children find it difficult to find their way back home?
(h) What is meant by the comment that a child on the platform does not grow up but `just ages’?
(i) Why is it important to send the runaway child back home as soon as possible?
(i) What is meant by ‘home placement’?
(k) Find words from the passage which mean the same as each of the following:
(i) sending back (part’ 5)
(ii) hunt/search (para 6)
(a) (iii); (b) (1);
(c) (iv); (d) (iii)
(e) Because he was found by SATHI, an NGO that helped him return home.
(f) They rescue children from railway platforms, provide shelter and care, and even help them return home.
(g) Because often they have no money to return or are too scared to go back as they had run away.
(h) This means they don’t get the opportunity to learn and develop skills and knowledge. Instead, they have to spend their energy trying to survive.
(i) It is important to help them return home as the longer they live on the platform, the greater the chances of addiction, exploitation and crime.
(j) Home placement means the process of returning the children home, after counselling.
(k) (i) Repatriation; (ii) Scour
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