The Noida police have rescued 67 children in the second phase of their ambitious project, Operation Smile, in the past one week. Most of the children rescued belong to other states.
“Of the 67 children, eight were missing from the Gautam Budh Nagar district. The rest of the children were found to be missing from various cities of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi. We have contacted our counterparts in other cities in these cases,” said Vishwajeet Srivastava, superintendent of police (crime branch), Gautam Budh Nagar.
The police have formed seven teams to raid suspected places.
“This time, we have constituted an additional team comprising of a woman sub-inspector and three women constables to raid and rescue girl children. The rest of the teams have six sub-inspectors and 18 constables,” said Srivastava.
The police said their teams are on the lookout for missing children at every nook and corner in the city.
“The officials have been asked to concentrate on places like puncture repair joints, roadside mechanics, restaurants, hotels and small-scale industries. If any child is found working, the police officials will check whether the child is accompanied by a guardian or his/her parents. We have asked all officials to keep an eye out for homeless children and especially those living on the footpath,” said Srivastava.
The operation to reunite missing children with their family members will continue till the end of this month. The first phase of Operation Smile was launched in July last year where the police rescued 111 children from various cities in different states. Sixty seven children were successfully reunited with their parents in the last operation and the remaining children are living in shelter homes.
“So far, our work rate is good in the ongoing drive and eight children have been reunited with their families. We hope that till the end of the month, we will be able to rescue more than 100 children. Also, we have urged the residents of the city to cooperate with the police and inform their nearest police station or dial 1098 to report any case of child labour or any missing child,” said Srivastava.