History & Development

Development And Empowerment Of The Marginalized


Fr. Abhi (Emmanuel George) is a catholic priest belonging to the Varanasi Province of the Indian Missionary Society, Varanasi, UP. India. For the past 27 years he has been involved in development and empowerment of the marginalized, especially women, children and differently abled. After completing the diploma programme in 'Development' from the Coady International Institute, St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada, he worked as director of the ‘Purvanchal Grameen Chetana Samiti’, the rural development organization of the diocese of Varanasi for five years from 1997 to 2002. From 2002 to 2007 he was the founding Director of Jan Vikas Samiti, the social welfare society of the Varanasi province of the Indian Missionary Society and from 2007 to 2011 was the Provincial Superior of the Varanasi province of IMS. He was also the first North India regional coordinator of “Liliane Foundation”, an organization in Holland working for the differently abled children and youngsters in some 70 countries all over the world.

While travelling by train, he found many children trying to find food and shelter from the trains and railway stations across India by rag picking, begging, stealing, shoe polishing, selling water and tobacco, and many other menial works. In Varanasi Cantonment railway station alone there were more than 200 children and many more come to the railway station from nearby slums and villages to help themselves and their families. Many of these children are exploited by the family and by the community. In some cases they are made to work many hours. They get in to drugs, are sexually and physically abused and have no opportunity to enjoy their childhood. Seeing the situation of these children and to provide quality life to at least some of them as well as to address some of their problems, in 2010 he together with Sr. Manju SRA[Molly Pezhathinkal] and with the support of a few of their close friends started interacting with the children at the railway and initiated the “platform ministry’. To provide legal status to the intervention, a trust was registered on January 30, 2010. Today it is a venture of the Varanasi Province of IMS in collaboration with the Sisters of the Queen of the Apostates. From 2010 to 2016 DARE functioned from a house loaned to it by Very Rev. Bishop Raphy Manjali, Bishop of the diocese of Varanasi and from 2017 DARE has its own place at Mawaiya, Sarnath, Varanasi.


When a child requires help, we bring the child to the DARE Shelter home with the due information of the police /administration. We also get calls from Railway Protection Force (RPF), Government Reserve Police (GRP) and general public whenever a new child is found and needs temporary shelter and support. Once rescued, the child is given a secure place and a good atmosphere to stay until the family is found. The information about the child is given to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) within 24 hours as per the rule and we try our best to trace the family or the guardian of the child. As per the order from the CWC child is given protection with all the facilities and once the family is found, after completing the legal formalities we hand over the child to the family or place the child in a shelter home. Eligible children are also accepted by our centre for education or skill training. During the last eight years we have rescued and sent home 325 children and have given shelter to 46 children.