Lost girl tries to find her way back home
It has been over a week since the government railway police found five-year-old Laxmi Rajubhai Marathi sitting alone on a bench at the Ahmedabad railway station. MEGHA SOOD reports.mumbai Updated: Dec 20, 2010 02:13 IST
It has been over a week since the government railway police found five-year-old Laxmi Rajubhai Marathi sitting alone on a bench at the Ahmedabad railway station. Currently under the care of the NGO Childline, the child only knows the name of the city she lives in -- Mumbai.
With no address, name, or any other concrete information, Childline members are now asking the Mumbai police for help to reunite the girl with her family. No missing persons complaint has bee registered so far.
Kalvin Symonds, member of Childline, Mumbai, said their counterparts in Ahmedabad contacted them about Marathi. “The railway police took her to the Childline centre on December 8. She is so young that she does not even realise that she is lost. She does not cry,” said Symonds. “She doesn’t understand any other language and speaks only Marathi.”
Subdha Khedkar, another member of Mumbai Childline, spoke to Marathi over the phone. “The girl said she lives in Mumbai with her father. She had boarded the train with him, but couldn’t find him. When asked about her address she said her house was near a jungle and a temple in Mumbai.”
“We at least have a lead,” added Khedkar.
In this month alone, four more children were found in different states who couldn’t tell their addresses because of their age or language barrier.
According to the NGO, more than 100 missing children below the age of 10 years are found every month. While most of them are reunited with their families because of the efforts of the police and NGOs, nearly 5% are unable to even reveal their names.
“Many children are so small that they can’t even talk. Some can speak only in their mother tongue and cannot understand the language of the city they land up in. In such cases, we take the help of the police and other NGOs,” said Symonds.
However, it is difficult to ascertain the exact number of children traced, as there is no national database or uniform tracking procedure existing in India that deals with missing children across the country.