Apna Ghar – A Home away from Home for the Destitute Kids

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ApnaGhar, located in Punai Chak locality of Patna, abounds with such stories of abandoned, missing and destitute children living happily after being rescued from difficult circumstances from  different places country wide. Started in November, 2006, this place is home to over 100 children with financial aid from the state government. On an average, the government spends Rs 1,700 on each child every month.  Earlier, the children were kept in the observation home at Gaighat, Patna. Later, the home was set up to comply with the provisions of Juvenile Justice Act, 2000, that required children without a criminal record to be kept away from those serving a sentence.

Apna Ghar offers to the children-
• Recreation facilities, in-house classroom for preparatory classes,
• Regular health check-ups and grown-ups being sent to government school.
• Proper beds,
• Quality food
•The inmates are also provided vocational training to make them self-reliant when they become adults.

The home also boasts of a well-furnished dining room where destitute children enjoy meals. And as far as food quality goes, an inmate said, “There is bread and fruits with milk in the morning and rice/roti, daal, sabzi for lunch and dinner. Fridays are best because non-vegetarian food is served that day.” On the recreation front, the centre is second to none as the inmates have many a means available for this purpose. This includes a TV set, a DVD player, swings and a small playground.

Nidan responsibility is overall all management of the centre and also to provide value addition to the whole system, by extending support for additional resources for the differently abled children, mobilizing resources for the improving immediate environment and living condition of the inmates.

Through quality education, Art and craft teacher, Music teacher, Two Trained Teacher, Two care taker (house Mother), cook, Tailor, washer man, sweeper, and guard ,develop a habit of studies. Hence, we concentrate on teaching methodologies instead of forcing inmates to learn something in a fixed time frame. Most children have had a disturbed past, they are initially aggressive. It requires a lot of patience to convince them that the home is good.

We have provided counselors who spend time with new inmates, helping them solve the problems of settling into a new environment. “Since most children have had a disturbed past, they are initially aggressive. It requires a lot of patience to convince them that the home is good.The post-graduate in clinical psychology said most inmates respond well to counseling sessions that are an integral part of the rehabilitation programme.  The vocational training programmes conducted here have been quite fruitful. Some inmates have acquired computer skills, others have taken to tailoring. “Tailoring can be a good livelihood once they become adults and leave this place.

The centre has also worked as a transit centre for child labourers rescued from outside and within the state. The centre recently received a group of child labourers rescued from Gujarat, Maharastra, Hydrabad and other places of india. Most of them have been reunited with their parents.

Having emerged as a home away from home for children in need of help and care, Apna Ghar is likely to add more things in days to come as social welfare department intends to develop it as a model centre for rehabilitation of destitute children.

At present No of child in Apna Ghar is 167. In that numbers some child is deferentially and some school going child.

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