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Home / Cities / ‘Five girls go missing from UP every day’

‘Five girls go missing from UP every day’

cities Updated: Jan 23, 2020 21:50 IST
Hindustantimes

LUCKNOW Sumati, a resident of Bahraich, keeps gazing at her husband’s cell phone, watching a seven-second video, in which her daughter was last seen. The woman has been watching this CCTV grab time and again, after her seven-year-old daughter went missing around a year ago.

Despite efforts by the police, Sumati’s daughter is still not found.

The police said almost five girls go missing from Uttar Pradesh every day and on an average, 35 girls go missing in the state every week, as per the National Crime Records Bureau’s (NCRB) report.

The report further stated that 3,306 children disappeared in UP in 2018, of which 1,965 were girls. “Five girls go missing in a day. If we add the previous cases, 5,704 children are missing, of which 3,133 are girls,” said a police official.

WHERE DID THEY GO?

The high number of girls among the missing children is a nationwide phenomenon. Normally, majority of children rescued from railway stations or other places by child rights bodies languish in shelter homes, said activists.

“We fear many of them are trafficked and some of those who are rescued live a hostile life,” said Umesh Gupta, a Lucknow-based child rights activist.

“The figures are always under reported. Many people do not register complaints due to social stigma while there are reports that cops sometimes chase away people who come with a missing complaint,” said Alisha Singh, a child rights activist.

“Once I visited Maharajganj district to study a missing girl child case. She was 13 years old and a cop told me ‘bhaag gayi hogi’,” said Singh.

“The cop had told the same thing to the family, and fearing stigma, they were not willing to pursue the complaint,” she added.

The mechanism to trace missing children is weak. Even when a child is rescued, priority is to complete the legal formalities and lodge him/her in a shelter home. “Tracing these children’s families is never taken on priority,” said Gupta.

However, Child Welfare Committee (Lucknow) member Sangeeta Sharma said, “Many of the children rescued by police or other authorities do not remember their address or other details that makes reaching out to their families difficult.”

So, the focus is on lodging such children in a shelter home, so that they get food and shelter.

With time, cops are also adopting different measures, said a senior police official. “There was a need for a common platform and it has been developed involving all the stakeholders. We are hopeful, it will yield positive changes.”

BOX

Figures under reported: Activists

*“We fear many of them are trafficked and some of those who are rescued live a hostile life,” said Umesh Gupta, a Lucknow-based child rights activist.

*“The figures are always under reported. Many people do not register complaints due to social stigma while there are reports that cops sometimes chase away people who come with a missing complaint,” said Alisha Singh, a child rights activist.

FEEBLE TRACING MECHANISM

*The mechanism to trace missing children is weak. Even when a child is rescued, priority is to complete the legal formalities and lodge him/her in a shelter home. “Tracing these children’s families is never taken on priority,” said Gupta.