New Delhi, May 26: Statistics would show that at an average 1 lakh go missing every year. As per the data available between the years 2011 and 2014 3.5 lakh children have gone missing. Cases of child prostitution and bonded labour are being cited as the main reasons behind this grim scenario.
Only last month in the Ministry of Home Affairs released the statistics which also goes on to show that West Bengal has the highest case of missing children. With 14,671 cases, Bengal accounts for 21 per cent of the cases in the country.
Further the statistics country wide also show that out of all the cases reported, 70 per cent of the missing children are girls. What is ironic is that India beats Pakistan and China in these statistics. Pakistan reports at an average of 3,000 cases every year while China reports 10,000.
Trafficking tops the list:
West Bengal, Maharashtra Assam, Odisha and Bihar top the list of such cases. Nearly 75 per cent of the cases across the country are reported from the above mentioned states. Another grim statistic would indicate that nearly 50 per cent of these cases are related to child trafficking. The cases in Maharashtra are reported at around 10,000.
There are various factors behind such cases. In most of the cases, it has been found that the girls are forcibly taken away and sold off at brothels in Mumbai and Delhi, in others, parents themselves facing a financial crisis have sold off their children.
There is a network of persons across the country who indulge in such acts. It is an organised crime syndicate. There are such persons in almost all states who are interconnected. They hire persons to identify young girls and boys. In the case of the boys some are sent away abroad and asked to work as bonded labour. Girls are sold off at brothels in India or to rich persons abroad.
The police say that in some of the cases, girls in the age group of 15 and 16 are lured by the youth into marriage. They fall trap easily and go away with the man only to land up in a brothel.
Tracing such cases is a nightmare for the police. The country wide statistics show that around 30 per cent of the cases have been detected and the children rescued.
However the police also say that in most cases, the parents do not come forward and report it. In the case of a missing girl child, the parents quote social stigma. In other cases it is the parents themselves due to economic constraints send the girl away for a price.