Over 3,000 kids rescued from city railway stations
New Delhi: In 2018, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) rescued more than 3,000 children from different railway stations in the city. The security agency found some kids abandoned while a few of them had left their homes after getting scolded by their family members.
Meanwhile, RPF was able to reunite several kids with their parents. "In many cases, children were handed over to NGOs and we started tracing their parents," said an officer. The data of RPF accessed by the Millennium Post claimed that 3,146 children were rescued in the current year. "As many as 687 kids were rescued from Delhi division east whereas west division succeeded in the rescue of 2,459 children," claimed the data. The national capital has more than 40 railway stations.
The investigations revealed different reasons for children landing at different railway stations in Delhi. "Some children were frightened after writing poorly in the exams or were scolded by the parents. They ran away from their house and arrived alone at the major railway stations in Delhi," Senior Divisional Security Commissioner (RPF) Shashi Kumar told the Millennium Post. "In many cases, the children were not able to give proper details of home so with the help of small clues, they were reunited with their parents," said Kumar.
Kumar further added that in a few cases, kids were kidnapped and then left in the railway stations. "Some kids wanted to see Delhi so without informing their parents they boarded the train. In other cases, children got parted with their family at railway stations," said the officer.
According to a guidebook for creating a child-friendly and protective environment for children in contact with railways made by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), thousands of children arrive at vast, chaotic railway stations and find themselves lost, alone and scared, with no idea where to go or what to do. Such children are vulnerable. There is a need to provide safety and security to the children coming to railway stations. "A Child Help Desk may be set up at the platforms which can be operational for 24 hours," recommended the guidebook.
The guidebook further claimed that RPF and Government Railway Police (GRP) should keep surveillance on suspected child or group of children travelling with or without an adult member. "Communication with the children should be in a child-friendly manner and record the important details of the kids and their contact phone numbers, the station where boarded, destination station, details of the ticket," recommended the guidebook.