Missing Children of India
In a country as big as India, with the population of more than 1.3 billion, it’s next to impossible to find a missing child. The number of missing children in India is much bigger than we can imagine. It’s heartbreaking to know that 1 child goes missing every 8 minutes and 2 out of 3 children are never found.
The statistics are heart-breaking and sobering. As per the data available from Ministry of Home Affairs, the number of untraced children in the country has increased by nearly 84% between 2013-2015. As per CRY, in India, nearly 180 children goes missing every day and while the numbers of missing children are increasing, the ratio of untraced children is also getting higher at alarming rate. In 2013-2014, National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report stated that at least 67,000 children went missing, out of which 45% were minors and this number has been increasing in proportion with the increasing population of the country. While an NGO named, Bachpan Bachao Andolan has stated that the number of missing children are 10 times higher than what’s shown in NCRB report.
Mumbai and Delhi has the maximum number of missing children (22 children goes missing in national capital every single day), followed by Madhya Pradesh and Haryana.
Mostly missing children are forced into prostitution, used for illegal activities, forced into begging, used for extracting organs, used for illegal adoption, forced into child labour; it’s also a cause of concern that a staggering number of children are trafficked outside the country or sold into nearby regions by mafias. Children who are kidnapped or abducted also form the major part of missing children database. There are also the children who for some reason or other run away from their houses and when they fail to find a safe environment for themselves, they end up either on the streets or in wrong hands and they too come under missing children.
To control the situation which is going out of hands with every passing year, a full-proof and very strict regime of Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation is needed to be followed. First step could be establishment of the coordination among the officials from various authorities such as social welfare organization, child welfare committee, district administration and the police. This can form the solid base for the kind of regime which needs to be established to combat the worsening situation. Strengthening the security on the boarders of the country in order to tackle human and child trafficking is another thing needs to be looked into. Whereas, awareness about identifying the missing child in the crowd and helping him/her should be done more intensely through street-plays, workshops, well thought-out and well executed social campaigns.
Having said that, it’s important to mention here that the Ministry of Women and Child Development has started a website, which gives the information about missing children in state and centre with the number of children traced. Child services are also available on a 24-hour toll-free number 1098.
Sources: CRY and Bachpan Bachao Andolan