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Christian hostel gives hope to India's 'Railway Boys'

Recommended by Alicia Purdy

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, July 18 2012 8:00 a.m. MDT

Our take: India's "railway boys" are a group of at-risk youths from difficult family backgrounds who eventually run away from home and join gangs who introduce them to a life of drugs. The young boys spend their days jumping trains and living in railway stations under gang leadership. However, according to International Missions Board, this group is being targeted for rescue by a faith-based hostel offering food, help with drug withdrawal and the gospel.

Railway boys are boys who have run away from home and joined gangs who live in India's train stations. They travel the country, jumping from train to train and stealing from train passengers. But International Mission Board reports that nine boys have left this life behind and found solace in Christ.

Khalil, like most of the other boys in the hostel, ran away from home. Khalil left his home in Delhi at age 10. His mother came from a Catholic background but married a Muslim man.

"There was no unity," Khalil says. "They were not like family at all."

Khalil's father spent many days drunk; he beat Khalil's mother and forced himself on her. He also beat Khalil, throwing household items at him. When Khalil tried to protect his mother, he was nearly beaten to death.

Khalil ran away and jumped on a train headed out of town. He eventually landed in a train station on the other side of the country, where he collected water bottles to sell, begged, and stole from train passengers. He gave a portion of the profits to his gang leader for protection.

Read more about efforts to help India's "railway boys" on One News Now.

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