The dissappearing 'future' of city

The dissappearing 'future' of city

Missing Children

Children regularly going missing in the city is not just alarming and criminal “but actually it is a very systemic and coordinated crime and nobody is concerned about it.

Not a single political party expresses their views on the issues of missing children but they love to talk about development,” reads the latest report of CRY (Child Rights and You) an organisation well known for working for child rights. 

There are many revelations in the report which relies heavily on the data obtained from all 11 districts of Delhi through Right to Information queries by Nav Srishti, a Non-Governmental Organisation, that works for the rights of women and children.

The numbers project a grim picture of Delhi suggesting that 6,494 children went missing in the year of 2013 alone, of which only 5,084 were fortunate enough to be found. The same report goes on to claim that 40 per cent of sex-workers in India are children.

“The data mentioned in our report was provided by the government authorities, so there is no doubting that. But we believe that the number of untraceable children is much higher. If a child is missing for more than 48 hours, it is very difficult to find him or her. In some cases these children were abducted and sent abroad,” said Jaya Singh, AGN Development Support, CRY (Child Rights and You).

Child rights activists based in Delhi and beyond often claim that there exists organised syndicates whose primary duty constitutes abducting children. These children are then put through terrible activities which include child labour, forced begging, pornography and even prostitution.

Mohamad Farooq is a member of Ride4Cause organisation which conducts bike rides to make people aware of the unwarranted abduction of children. He claimed that children abducted from Delhi are sent to other parts of India to get recruited as beggars and then transported to metropolitan cities after a two-year period. Jaya Singh however added that the abductors have in fact no boundaries to limit their ‘activities’ and claimed trafficking is rampant across India.

“We had a case wherein a teenage girl was sent to Dubai but she managed to escape mid-way. What is more worrying is that the children who manage to escape or are rescued by Delhi police; in their testimonies inform about many more children who weren’t as lucky as them. Yet there is no plan of action to actually investigate the abductors even after such harrowing testimonies,” Singh added. When contacted, two senior most officers of the Crime Branch refused to comment on the subject.

“Often police advises us to be vigilant which is true but what about the preventive mechanism that should be in place. This only points out to the reluctance of police to counter such activities,” Singh further said.

The Delhi High Court in 2013 issued notices to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Women and Child Development seeking their response on the increasing cases of child kidnapping and trafficking.

The court's directions had come while hearing a case of a three-year old boy, who went missing in May 2012. Notices were also issued to Delhi Police along with Department of Social Welfare and Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights. In its submission, the police claimed that the investigations ruled out the possibility of any organised gang in these cases.

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