Beef up bureau to trace missing kids

Today, on Children’s Day, November 14, there has been a slew of events planned for kids right across the city. From entertainment like magic shows and performances at malls, to quiz competitions and even participation in the Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat Mission, the future of India is the focus today.

It is also a day for adults to ponder on how to make this a better world for children, by giving them more open spaces and facilities, to make this a safer city for them. On the safety aspect, it is especially important that the Mumbai Police work towards beefing up their bureau to trace missing kids. As per the statistics available with the missing persons bureau of Mumbai Police, nearly 3,000 children below the age of 18 years are missing, of which 50 per cent are girls.

Most of these missing kids are used for begging, prostitution and human trafficking, said Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Vasant Dhoble.

The missing persons bureau at the Crawford Market Police Headquarters, headed by an ACP rank officer, is part of the Crime Branch. The department which is supposed to track missing children is short staffed. As a result, they are often tied up with preparing statistical data by collecting information from different police stations, instead of actually being on the field to trace the missing children. Though there is a police shortage and there can never be enough cops, given the numbers in Mumbai, some effort has to be made to add strength to this bureau.

This section of society is especially vulnerable and missing children is an extremely serious issue. Let parents help all they can and the government can step in to alleviate the shortage in this bureau through some means. Let there be a robust approach to bring back these children. For that to happen, you need numbers in the force. Start making up for the shortfall and then use every resource in the book to make ‘lost’ into ‘found’. What better way to mark Children’s Day, than to resolve to do this.

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