Parents of missing children hold protest march in New Delhi

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New Delhi, Apr 24 (ANI): Under the aegis of the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), a non-governmental organisation working to eradicate child labour, parents of missing children held a protest march here on Friday against the apathy of the politicians.

Chanting slogans, the parents whose children have been missing for several years gathered at the Jantar Mantar.

They say New Delhi has become a safe haven for traffickers and abusers of children.

Rakesh Senger, National Secretary of the BBA lamented that no candidate contesting in the Lok Sabha elections has yet raised this issue in their poll campaign.

He said that every day six children go missing from New Delhi itself.

"Six children are missing everyday from the capital of the country. This has become the safest haven for those traffickers, those who are buying and selling children in less than animal cost. Police officials are not held accountable," said Senger.

"Parents are going and knocking the doors of police station and nobody is there to listen to them. Even if some complaint is made, then they don't have enough courage and money power to go again and again to ask and they are misbehaved most of the time. There are several complaints with the BBA where these parents were asked to give some bribe to police stations to register the case about their missing children," added Senger.

Parents also said that they will not vote unless they get their missing children back.

"I will not go to cast my vote. Unless, I get my son back," said Sugandi Devi, a mother whose son is missing.

Babulal, whose three daughters went missing in 2003, said that instead of taking any action, the MLA of his area blamed him of selling his daughters for money.

"The police told me that they have sent my complaint papers to the higher authority. I was even told that since Uttar Pradesh is just 12 kilometers away from Delhi, then they must have taken my children to Delhi. I even tried meeting the DCP, but they didn't let me," said Babulal.

"After that when the media came, the MLA of my area, Naseeb Singh, abused me saying that you people sell off your children and then harass the policemen unnecessarily. We are poor that's why no one listens to us. We will not cast our votes. We are still waiting for justice," added. Babulal.

The BBA has submitted a memorandum to President Pratibha Patil, putting across the grievances of the parents of missing children.

The International Labour organisation (ILO) estimates that in South Asia, there is trafficking in children both internally and across national borders-from Bangladesh and Nepal to Pakistan and India, and from South Asia to South-East Asia and the Middle East.

ILO study reveals the victims end up in sexual and labour exploitation-doing domestic work, working in factories, on the streets, and as jockeys in camel races. (ANI)

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