RPF Pune division’s Savitribai Phule squad rescues 186 minors in last 10 months
Pune: The Railway Protection Force (RPF) of Pune division has rescued 186 minor children from Pune railway station and reunited them with their families since the past 10 months.
These juveniles from across the country turned up at the station, without their parents or relatives, seeking work. RPF has formed a squad called “Savitribai Phule Team” to identify, track and rescue these children.
According to RPF, the highest number of children rescued, 50, is from Bihar, and the total rescued include 147 boys and 39 girls.
“When the train operations resumed last year, we found many children roaming alone at platforms or outside the Pune railway station premises. Many claimed to have run away from home in search of work or after a fight with family. Our special squad, “Savitribai Phule Team”, formed in November last year include six RPF police staff comprising women personnel also,” said RPF Pune divisional security commissioner Uday Singh Pawar.
The rescued children hail from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Orissa, Goa, Karnataka, Telangana, Rajasthan and even Nepal. The number of such children coming to Pune in search of work has increased following last year’s countrywide lockdown, according to a RPF official.
“Many rescued children cite financial issues at home to be one of the reasons to run away. We are glad to trace them and send them back to their family,” Pawar said.
The “Savitribai Phule Team” conducts random rounds of six platforms at Pune station and neighbouring areas. They also travel on various trains that pass through the Pune division to look for unaccompanied minors.