According to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India, more than 50000 children go missing in India every year. Only 10% of all cases, are registered with the police, so these figures could be much larger in number, said a report published in a leading English daily ‘Hindustan Times’ quoting NHRC.
The figures of missing children reported on child help lines were much higher than the numbers in police records. Most of the children could never find the way back home. It is a wrong notion that they stay back deliberately.
Human traffickers target low- income families, and their tactics range from drugging and kidnapping to persuasion and deception. Unfortunately the media never addresses this issue. Appropriately. P.M. Nair of the United Nations Office on Medicines and Crime (UNODC), who worked on the NHRC study, says most missing children remain untraced because the police don’t try enough to search for them, and such stories aren’t taken up by the media. Most missing children came from Dalit, tribal and poor Families, who do not have the means or visibility to pressure the police or galvanize the media.
According to the report, cases of child abuse or paedophilia come much down on the police’s list of priorities. Eighty percent of the cops don’t feel tracing a missing child was a priority; 54 percent thought it wasn’t worth the effort, the NHRC study showed. The common notion is that Indian cops are trained to probe cognisable offences because they show up in periodic crime numbers. In cases like the one in Noida all that the police did is to make a daily diary entry, and issue the complainant a non-cognisable report, telling them a ‘case ’has been registered. “It’s called burking in police slang”.
In Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, governments have issued orders telling the police to probe each case of missing children. Women and Child Development Ministry has expressed their determination to bring the much needed changes in the law to end the saga of the missing children. They’ve in fact sought changes in the curriculum at the National Police Academy and police training schools.”
As per a BBC report last year, it’s estimated that a child goes missing every eight minutes in India. There’s no tomorrow if we can’t safeguard our today. It’s up to the will and determination of our society in which we live today to bring about a change. A child lost is a whole world of prospects lost. That child lost could have been the much needed scientist, leader etc. the world is craving for.
If we become more vigilant and sensitive to things around us, the world could be better place for all of us to live. Live and let live!