//Every year 45,000 children are reported missing

Every year 45,000 children are reported missing

Parents of missing kids face police apathy

NDTV, Monday, January 8, 2007 (New Delhi):

Every year 45,000 children are reported missing in the country, mostly for trafficking.

Very few parents, especially the ones who aren't educated or well off, get any reaction from the police. Kohinoor is one of the lucky few who has been rescued.

"A man once visited me and said that he would give me a job in Kolkata. I am from a poor family so I came. He got me and left me at Chandigarh. From there I reached Balco and from there I was picked up by the police," said Kohinoor.

According to the National Human Rights Commission, 45000 children are reported missing in India every year and of these 2,000 are from Delhi alone.

Most children are 10-14 years old and about 70 per cent of all missing children are girls. What is most shocking is that most of them are pushed into prostitution.

Alarming figures

However, this is only a small part of the actual numbers that go missing. Many cases aren't reported by the parents and when they are, they often face police apathy.

"The police are supposed to immediately file a case of kidnapping and abduction which they never do. So the laws have to be properly implemented," said Ravi Kant, Executive Director, Shaktivahini, NGO.

Thousands of children go missing in India every year. Their parents lodge complaints with the police who merely put a stamp on the paper which says that the child is missing.

Few NGOs fortunately rescue some of these children but the question is who will take the responsibility of the life and safety of all those who are still missing?