65,000 children still untraced, portals to track missing kids providing valuable leads
Currently the government is running two websites in the country to monitor missing children in India – TrackChild and KhoyaPaya. Citing figures from TrackChild the government has said that the total number of missing children in India (since January 1, 2012 to 18 February 2016) is 1,94,213 and the number which has been recovered is 1,29,270, which means 64,943 are still untraced.
Solely on the TrackChild portal the number of hits from January, 2012 to February, 2016 stood at a staggering 10,98,27,835. The data provided by TrackChild indicates that the highest number of children who have been missing are from the following states - West Bengal - 44,095 (children missing), Uttar Pradesh - 26,002, Gujarat - 25,478, Delhi - 20803 and Madhya Pradesh - 14,539. Meanwhile, exhaustive data provided by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) indicates that the number of cases reported under kidnapping and abduction of children during for 2014 is 37,854 (in states 31,239 children were reported missing while for UTs the number is 6,615).
Regarding the progress and working of the two portals the Ministry of Women and Child Development in a reply to question in Parliament said, “The Ministry had launched TrackChild portal in 2011-12 and KhoyaPaya in July 2015, since then approximately Rs 3.11 crore have been released to National Informatics Centre (NIC) /National Informatics Centre Services Incorporated (NICSI) & others. There is a provision of yearly budget of Rs 2.5 crore under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) for TrackChild.”
The WCD Ministry has also partnered with the Railway Ministry to locate missing children in India. The two ministries also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in May 2015 to “further the association and co-operation in the implementation of jointly prepared Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and to ensure the care and protection, security, well- being of run-away, unaccompanied and trafficked children who come in contact with the railways.”
“The WCD Ministry has been implementing these portals in association with various stakeholders including Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Ministry of Railways, State Governments/UT Administrations, Child Welfare Committees, Juvenile Justice Boards, National Legal Services Authority, etc,” informed the WCD Ministry in Parliament on the issue.