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Raja Das

Raja Das was a boy we discovered on one of the main railway stations of Kolkata. This particular project operates on the platform itself and serves as a drop in center for children who are lost, addicted and abandoned. This platform had been Raja’s home after he had been discarded by his father and step mother. Distressed and lost, he had traveled from his home far away and ultimately arrived at this railway station.

After being made painfully aware of the dynamics that operate on the platform between various groups of people, stranded boys, gangs and the police, he decided to join a gang. Being the newest and youngest recruit at the bottom of the rung, he was exploited by everyone. He soon learnt to operate like a criminal and in their company he became addicted to alcohol, marijuana, glue sniffing and synthetic drugs. In the five years he was there, he was often arrested by the police and once he was jailed for nine months. His gang was a dangerous one and a constant target of the police. Many of the gang members died in police encounters. Rival gangs were a constant threat as well. It was a desperate existence for Raja because he was in constant danger of being killed either by the police or the rival gangs.

It was during this period of his life that he happened to meet our social workers from EMC. He was befriended in a manner that was free of compromise and ulterior motives. This motivated him to go for detoxification from his addiction. He was then later welcomed at Anandoloy Home which became his true home.  

The acceptance and affection he received brought about a transformation. The knowledge that God loved him enough to die for him was the beginning of the process. He regularly attended NA meetings and continued to remain clean in his duration at Anandoloy Home.

He earned his leadership through hard work and perseverance and for a while worked in the project on the railway station. He became a great role model for children on the platform and motivated them to live drug and crime free lives. He was happy to share with many other children the hope and promise for a future that he now enjoys. Although he was encouraged to visit his own family, he was unfortunately rejected by them once again.

Raja is now happily married and works in a small scale industry. He stays in regular contact with EMC and lives a productive drug-free life.