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Kids must be dissuaded from running away

Updated on: 01 March,2023 05:48 AM IST  |  Mumbai
The Editorial |

According to the CR, the Mumbai division rescued the highest number of kids—615—between January and December 2022

Kids must be dissuaded from running away

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The Central Railway (CR) on Monday said that its Railway Protection Force (RPF) rescued 1,399 children in 2022.

According to the CR, the Mumbai division rescued the highest number of kids—615—between January and December 2022.

The RPF, which has a number of responsibilities, also rescues children under Operation Nanhe Farishte. These are young ones who land at railway stations without informing their families. This happens after a fight or due to family problems or because the children are in search of a better life. Often, they are lured by the glamour of the city. RPF personnel find and connect with the children, understand their problems and counsel them to reunite with their parents. Some are sent to NGOs.

Also read: Remember, crooks can smell your desperation

More power to this operation and Indian Railways for carrying out an important job. Personnel should be trained to deal with this problem, spot signs of runaway children and be able to identify if they are in danger or have been ‘abducted’.

The training, one is sure, is of a high standard, given the figures, but it must constantly evolve, keeping pace with the changing modus operandi of criminals.

That is the reactive part. Families must regularly talk to their children, emphasising the message that running away is not and should never be an option.

They must stress that the ‘glitz’ of big cities is a smokescreen; one can find oneself in an extremely dangerous environment trying to chase this illusion. Creating awareness about how the world outside is not the shiny space it seems to be should be stressed. 

Runaway children are most likely to be abducted or lured into the world of crime. Both preventing kids from running away and responding to the issue properly will help bring the numbers down.

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