“Platform Children” are children with no parental love or guidance who live and beg on railway stations in India.
The Platform Children of India form a sub-culture within the confusion and complexity of mainstream Indian society. Lost, unwanted, orphaned, outcast and handicapped kids gravitate to the stations from drought-stricken villages and squalid urban slums. To simply survive they become trapped in a cycle of begging and scavenging from which few escape.
If you have ever taken a trip on an Indian train you would have seen them at almost every station. Feral yet beguiling, they seek you out, especially if you are a foreigner. Skilled survivors, they have the ability to win you over with imploring, steady, almost defiant gazes. They weave a magic, enchanting yet challenging to your instinctive belief in fair play.
Sometimes the brave masks they wear slip to reveal calf-like eyes reflecting despair and a yearning for love; that simple, taken-for-granted love which all children need and deserve.
For these children, malnourished and vulnerable, the clock ticks relentlessly until the time comes when childhood is lost forever. As their income from begging drops the next strategies in the battle to survive are crime and prostitution. Enchanting smiles of innocence soon fade into the calculating shrewdness of young adults.