When the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel at Okhla metro station spotted 17-year-old Sakshi (name changed) on Wednesday, she was crying. When they approached her, she was unable to explain, as she speech-impaired. The security personnel gave her a piece of paper, in which she wrote that her mother entered the train, the gate got closed and she got separated from her.
The CISF, responsible for the security of Delhi Metro, then contacted her mother and handed over the girl.
The incident comes days after a 19-year-old speech-impaired girl went missing from Adarsh Nagar Metro station.
“The person observing the CCTV noticed a girl on platform number 2 and he informed the shift incharge. The girl was brought to the control room; she was unable to say anything. She was given a paper, in which she wrote down her mother’s name and contact number. She informed through writing that she could not board the Metro along with her mother as the door closed before she could enter,” said a CISF officer.
The CISF personnel rang the number. By that time, Sakshi’s mother had reached Govindpuri metro station. “She came back at Okhla and was happy to see her daughter and thanked all CISF staff. She was worried that she will never meet her daughter again,” the CISF officer said.
The incident involving Sakshi is one among about 100 cases CISF notices every year, as many children get separated from parents in the Metro premises due to the crowd and automated gates. Every year, CISF unites about 100 children with their parents. Officers said that most of them get separated due to the automated door and crowded metro stations.
“In 2016, we reunited 106 children while this year till April, 50 children have been reunited with their parents. We have trained our staff to identify children roaming alone. Our staff initially asks them about their parents and if they are not nearby, our staff waits for them. In cases where children remember the name and number, we contact them, otherwise look for them through CCTV footage. Most of the time, parents come back to the same station and after verification, we give the children back,” said Manjeet Singh, CISF spokesperson.
In the evening too, two children, 5 and 11 years old, were found roaming at platform level alone at the Vishwavidyalaya metro station. The CISF staff at Jahangirpuri station was contacted by their mother and children were taken to that station and handed over to the mother after proper verification.