On average, five children go missing in the city every day
When toddler Ishaan, the son of a businessman, went missing, Delhi Police went into a tizzy, deploying 15 teams to look for him and tracing him in two days.delhi Updated: May 01, 2011 00:23 IST
When toddler Ishaan, the son of a businessman, went missing, Delhi Police went into a tizzy, deploying 15 teams to look for him and tracing him in two days.
Not everyone's so lucky though. According to official figures, 550 children have gone missing in the Capital since January 2011, of whom only 146 have been found.
The issue of children going missing in Delhi, especially girls, is a major cause of concern. According to the Zonal Integrated Police Network (ZIPNet), from January 1 to April 26, 550 children were reported missing.
A police official said: "Last year, an average of three such incidents was recorded on a single day. But this year, it has risen to five per day. Alarmingly, the number of girls is around 60% in such cases."
Social activists working on the issue fear that most of the girls going missing are trafficked into the sex trade. What is also worrying is the low percentage of recovery of these missing kids.
A member of the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), a child rights NGO, said: "The parents of Ishaan in Delhi or, for that matter, of six-year-old Karnit in Mumbai are very lucky to have found their children. But it's a fact that they come from a certain class of society. Do police break into such a tizzy when a child of a poor man goes missing?"
"One hundred and forty-six children being recovered means the rate of recovery is just 26.5%. Of these, the lowest recovery rate is from the southeast district of Delhi, comprising areas like Sarita Vihar, Badarpur and Jamia Nagar, at 6%," the BBA member said.
Amar Choubey is a distressed parent who can only wish that fate would be as kind to him as it has been to Ishaan's parents. On March 19, his son Akash went missing from right in front of his house in Delhi and has remained untraced until now.
An RTI filed by BBA revealed that 60,000 children go missing in the country every year.
"In Delhi alone, 13,570 children have been reported missing between January 2008 and October 2010," the BBA member said.