The Curious Case Of India’s Missing Children

Posted by Aaskar Jha in Society, Video
December 26, 2016

India is a big and complex country with a population of 1.25 billion. To raise your voice, you either need to have convincing and influencing data or the support of thousands of people. But what about those who have just learnt how to speak, walk and have just started this long journey of life? Who is going to represent that chunk of the population?

The magnitude of missing children in India is much bigger than we can imagine. It is not the problem of some state or a part of India but has its arms spread all across. In, India one child goes missing every eight minutes. Over 60,000 children go missing every year. In the previous year, approximately 3,000 children went missing in the state of Uttar Pradesh alone. Not less than 16 people get kidnapped in Delhi every single day.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report of 2013 and 2014, at least 67,000 children went missing, out of which 45% were minors and this number is gradually increasing with the increase of the population in India. An NGO named Bachpan Bachao Andolan has shown the number of missing children 10 times more than what is stated in finding and research of state and centre because the majority of trafficking victims are not included in missing cases. Surprisingly, the reason stated by NCRB for most of the cases in missing children is ” other reasons”.Authorities are not even able to identify the problem but they give the assurance of solving the problem.  Most common causes of trafficking include forced marriage, child labour, procuring of minors as domestic help and sexual exploitation. Recent reports show that there are trafficking syndicates operating in the country and the case of missing children’s in India are making international headlines.

The Government has taken some positive step towards the development of the system. The ministry of Women and Child Development has started a website that gives us information about missing children in state and centre with the number of children traced in real time. Child services are also available on a 24-hour toll-free number 1098. The draft Trafficking Of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2016, seeks to address flaws and loopholes in the legal system. In June 2015, a government website was set up where citizens can submit information relating to the missing child.

In order to solve this curious case of missing children, the State government should not show lax behaviour in tracing them. Coordination between officials of various authorities such as district administration, social welfare organisation, child welfare committee and the police. Porous borders with countries like Nepal and Bangladesh with the help of Indian government should address this problem seriously as it takes the major share in human trafficking and child trafficking. An awareness should be created among people about missing children’s so that common people can help the government to trace missing children.