779 children missing in City since Jan 2013

779 children missing in City since Jan 2013

Around 779 children, in the age group of 6 to 18 years, have been reported missing in the City, since January 2013, according to Bangalore Oniyavara Seva Coota (Bosco) the nodal agency for the State for Missing Child Bureau.

Further, the City’s bustling railway stations have turned havens for these runaways from home.

According to Child Rights Trust (CRT) Director Nagasimha G Rao, exam pressure and increased competition has led to an increase in the percentage of missing children.

“January to March is when students get stressed out due to peer and exam pressure. Most schools do not have counselors, while parents avoid interaction with children during exams thinking that it might affect their studies, driving students to explore options such as running away, suicides.

A survey carried out in 2010-11, 94 children aged below 18 year committed suicide in City. A strict vigil and security system has to be in place particularly at crowded stations, he noted.   
According to SATHI (Society for Assistance to Children in Difficult Situation) Project Co-coordinator Rangappa N, Yeshwantpur and Okalipuram railway stations are ones where missing children are found in large numbers.

“Around 60 per cent of those rescued are from Okalipuram railway station. Of these, 60 per cent are from Karnataka, while the rest are from North India (25 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (10 per cent) and Madhya Pradesh (5 per cent), respectively,” he added.

Joint Commissioner Crime (West) and Nodal Officer for anti-begging drive, Pranab Mohanty, said: “We are closely keeping a track on missing children from railway stations. Security has been tightened depending on the situation and its location.”