Rekha Mishra, a sub-inspector with the Railway Protection Force, along with her team was on duty in Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in June 2016. They spotted three young girls in school uniforms looking very scared were getting down from the Chennai Express on Platform 15. She went up to the girls and asked if they were in trouble but girls did not reply and just stared at her as they were unable to understand her. Putting two and two together, the team called a Tamil-speaking person to help. Then they found that the girls had been kidnapped outside from their school in Chennai. At a traffic signal, one of the girls bit her captor, and somehow they managed to escape. In panic, they boarded a train at a nearby station, not knowing it was a long-distance express. Ms. Mishra they called up their parents, and the local police station and said “The girls were my responsibility, I felt, so slept along with them at the police station.”

Ms. Mishra is just 32 and joined the RPF in 2014, is known a hard-working officer with a track record of helping children at the CST station. She has rescued 434 children, 45 of them girls. Most of them were kids who had run away from home, often because of being beaten by parents. There are also frequent cases of children who, obsessed with a film star or attracted by rumours of glamour in Mumbai, had run away to see it for themselves. There are some where they came to meet Facebook friends, and there have been victims of kidnapping too.

Most of them are from U.P. and Bihar and almost all the children found are from 13 to 16 years old. “Sometimes, the children are too young and unfamiliar with the world outside their homes, so it is difficult to even get their addresses and names of their family members from them” said Ms. Mishra.

There was one case of a boy who couldn’t speak or hear, and the RPF had to call in experts in sign language to understand him. Sadly, out of the 434 rescued children she has handled, the RPF was only able to trace the parents of 28; the rest had to be handed over to the Child Welfare Committee for further action.

Ajay Yadav, the senior inspector in charge of CST, says, “She is a very hard-working and dedicated staff member, ther staff should also learn a lesson from her hard work.”

Sachin Bhalode, Senior Divisional Security Commissioner, CR, RPF, said, “This is different type of work, and one has to be very dedicated and needs a special skill which, Ms. Mishra has. This is a very responsible job, handling sensitive cases. She has done a commendable job and we are in a process of recommending her for rewards.”

“I feel very blessed and happy that God helps in doing such work,” Ms. Mishra says. “I always pray to God that gives me strength to help others, especially senior citizens, children, and poor people. I work for around 12–14 hours a day, and make sure that I don’t regret anything when I go to bed.”

Social Mantra salute Ms. Rekha Mishra for such commendable job and also would like to say that if each one of us will work with full dedication and complete efforts in our job (no matter what we do), we all can grow in future and will get the respect and honour what we deserve.

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