PESHAWAR, Jan 6: Drop in Centre Peshawar, established by the Society for Protection of Rights of the Child (Sparc), has reunited around 200 children with their families in 2012.

According to a Sparc press release, the runaway children had left their homes due to several reasons and were living as street children in different areas of Peshawar.

Street children are among the most vulnerable part of population, as they are susceptible to disease, violence, sexual abuse and poverty, while about 1.5 million children in Pakistan are on the street, said Imran Takkar, Peshawar Sparc programme manager.

The society runs a drop in centre in Peshawar’s Sikandar Town near general bus stand with the assistance of local community. It brought the runaway children from streets, police stations, bus stops and other places to the centre and then reunited them with their parents, he said and added that before reunion the children were provided psychosocial counselling to convince them to go back to their homes.

The children reunited last year belonged to Mardan, Charsadda, Swat, Mohmand Agency, Bajaur Agency, Bannu, Rawalpindi, etc. Mr Takkar claimed that most of these children had run away due to corporal punishment at home, schools and madaris. He said that street children needed to be on the government’s agenda and their specific needs recognised and addressed.

The centre also imparts vocational skills and provides health facilities to such children. —Bureau Report

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