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Auto rickshaw driver turns savoir of street children
Kochi (Kerala) | September 15, 2007 8:11:22 PM IST
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Hundereds of street children in Kochi may not know who their parents are, but consider Murugan, the auto rickshaw-driver-turned social activist a dear friend.

Murugan heads a help group called 'Theruvora Pravarthaka Association' which in Malayalam language means 'Street Workers' Association'

Murugan, who grew up in an orphanage -- as his mother could not afford to bring him up -- knows the pangs of destitution.

During the past six years, he claims to have saved about 2000 street children from the drudgery of forced labour.

Murugan rescues the children from street labour takes them to voluntary organisations and seek their help. Many organisations like Sandvanam Trust and Consolation Trust have been of great help.

Radha Menon of Sandvanam Trust said, "Murugan brings children from streets in distress to our organisation. I think he is really a God's chosen and blessed one."

The young activist now plans to pen his experiences on the streets amidst poverty and hunger as also the stories of some of the children he rescued, all for the benefit of children saved from the streets.

"My life's main aim is to work for people and sell this book in large numbers. The earnings out of it will be spent on children and social activities," he says.

India has banned employing children under the age of 14. Those found violating the law could face up to two years jail and a maximum fine of 20,000 rupees or both.

An estimated 21.6 million children, aged between 5 and 14 years, are working as labourers in south Asia out of a total of 300 million children in this age group.

Officially, India has about 12 million child workers who are under the age of 14, but voluntary groups put the number at close to 60 million. (ANI)

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