Expressing concern over the large number of missing children in the country, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chief Justice KG Balakrishnan on Tuesday said it was high time states acted proactively to deal with the issue.
Quoting National Crime Records Bureau data of 2011, he said Delhi had the third largest number of missing children at 6,054.
Balakrishnan said 76,125 children were reported missing in the country and of these, 30,811 were still untraceable and most of them were girls.
West Bengal reported the highest number of 19,254 missing children, followed by 12,154 from Madhya Pradesh and 5,470 from Andhra Pradesh.
The situation was not encouraging in the states of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh also, he said.
"Despite so many interventions, including from the NHRC and the Home ministry, the data on missing children is not being maintained properly by the states.
There is a need to overcome the chasm between intent and implementation of initiatives for protection of child to tackle the problem," he said, addressing the National Conference on 'Missing Children' organised by the NHRC in the Capital on Tuesday.
Justice Balakrishnan said India is blessed in the sense that it has the largest child population in the world.
There are about 43 crore (430 million) children in the age group of 0-18 years. It is estimated that about 40 per cent of them are living in difficult situations and are vulnerable.