Rail jobs, staff issues and training

27.09.07

Platform appeal to raise funds for railway children in India

A major new charity appeal, aimed exclusively at the rail industry and the organisations and people working within it, is being launched by Railway Children - the charity that works to prevent the abuse of children on the streets both in the UK and overseas.

Over the next three years, Railway Children’s Platform Appeal will aim to raise £2.5 million. The funds will go to the charity’s much-needed work in India which has one of the highest populations of street children in the world - estimated at some12 million. Currently, the charity works in 70 locations around India’s main railway stations with partner organisations on the ground.

The Platform Appeal funds aim to reach some 60,000 children who live in and around the country’s railway stations, giving them the opportunity of a life away from the streets.

Throughout its 12-year history, Railway Children has received unparalleled support from the railway and engineering sectors. It is hoped that the Platform Appeal will encourage and sustain ongoing support from the wide and diverse community that makes up the UK’s railways’ workforce. Imaginative fundraising incentives will be introduced to reach out towards rail employees - from the station kiosk to the boardroom.

Railway Children came into being in 1995 when David Maidment was on a business trip in Mumbai. He was profoundly moved by the sight of a vulnerable seven-year-old girl beating herself to attract sympathy and elicit money under the watchful eye of a manipulating adult.

David became deeply concerned about the huge unmet need for early support for street children and runaways not only in India, but across the world. Today Railway Children is working with over 40 organisations on 117 projects across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America as well as in the UK.

Gary Sanford, chairman of the Platform Appeal Committee and director of railway strategy at Omnicom Engineering, says:

“How fitting it is at an occasion like this when we are celebrating excellence and achievement that we set ourselves another goal: a goal that was started by one of us and which - if we all pull together - can make a difference to the lives of thousands of children in India whose only world is grinding poverty and a life on the streets. I urge you all to get behind the Railway Children's Platform Appeal in whatever way you can and help make this breakthrough for street children.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

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