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Over 59,000 Children Went Missing In India In 2020: Report

Highlights

  1. Over 4,938 children went missing every month in 2020: NCRB
  2. Bachpan Bachao Andolan has freed 10,000 kids in the last 15 months
  3. Cases of child trafficking, kidnapping have increased multifold: KSCF

It's been more than 7 months since Rajan Shah and his wife last saw their 5-year-old daughter Khushi (name changed), the joy of their lives. Playing in a Saraswati Pooja pandal in front of her house, little Khushi suddenly went missing. The accused, who allegedly kidnapped her, has been arrested but there is no word on Khushi yet. Talking to NDTV about the loss of their daughter, Rajan Shah, Khushi's father said,

Till now we have not been able to locate her. We asked police for help, even approached Chief Minister's office, we have tried asking for help from everyone.

Also Read: Traffickers' Various Tricks While Transporting Children In Trains

Khushi's parents are not alone. There are hundreds and thousands of other distraught parents like them who are undergoing the same harrowing ordeal every single day. As per the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, more than 50,000 (59,262) children went missing in 2020. Which means over 4,938 children went missing every month in 2020 and over 1 lakh (1,08,234) children remain untraced as on date.

Talking to NDTV about the NCRB data and India's missing children, Rakesh Sengar, Executive Director (Programmes), Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation said,

According to the data from NCRB, fifty-nine thousand cases of missing children have been reported during the COVID-19 era. This strongly suggests that there's a substantial increase. The very fact that our Bachpan Bachao wing has freed 10,000 kids in the last 15 months, indicates that the cases of child trafficking and kidnapping have increased multifold.

Also Read: 14-Year-Old Repeatedly Raped By Cousin And Brother-In-Law, Threatened With Consequences If She Spoke Up

From providing a platform to parents through demonstrations at the heart of the national capital to draw the government's attention to releasing the watershed ‘Missing Children of India' report, the Satyarthi Movement's Bachpan Bachao Andolan or BBA has been at the forefront of bringing about policy level changes and spearheading system interventions to help reunite missing children with their parents.

Incidentally, BBA's legal intervention paved the way for a landmark Supreme Court judgment in 2013 which made registration of FIR mandatory in all cases of missing children.

We took up this whole concept of missing children and we went to the Supreme Court (SC) and the SC bench took it very seriously and they created a special bench that heard the matter every week. After that, they gave the direction that with the presumption of crime there will be a registration of a case within 24 hours if a child goes missing, said Sampurna Behura, Director (Legal), BBA.

Also Read: 16-year-old From Bihar, Raped While Out To Fetch Water, Awaits Justice

The Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation recently launched 'Operation Khoj' in collaboration with the Khunti district administration in Jharkhand to spread awareness on child trafficking, child labour and child sexual abuse with the object of collecting information and identifying missing children in the district.

While the government has strengthened technology-assisted monitoring and reporting mechanisms for tracking, India's untraced children act as a grim reminder of the fact that they are being sucked into the dark web of trafficking and traded for cheap labour, slavery and pushed into commercial sex work, every single day. To help reunite missing children with their distraught parents, come forward and support Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation and ensure Justice For Every Child.

Also Read: Bike Rally In Jharkhand To Raise Public Awareness On Child Education And Break The Chain Of Child Labour

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