New Delhi, March 5: Runaway children or those found abandoned or lost in trains and railway premises will now be protected with the Women and Child Development Ministry and the railways deciding to take care of them and make arrangements for their food, clothing and medicine needs.
Union WCD Minister Maneka Gandhi on Thursday launched the revised "standard operating procedures" (SOP) to ensure care and protection of children found on railway premises.
"There are not hundreds or thousands but three to five lakh children who are constantly on the move all the time. They are either trafficked, or they leave homes, get lost or are abandoned. We are now in partnership with railways officially to safeguard rights of these children arriving at and living on railway stations till they are reunited with their families or sent to shelter homes," she said.
The Minister was speaking after releasing SOPs on the 8th foundation day of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).
Railways have identified 20 railway stations where these SOPs will be implemented to start with.
"But I want the number of railway stations to add up to 200 in the next two months and more later," said Gandhi.
As per the SOPs as soon as a child is spotted at a station or train, the Government Railway Police (at stations) and the Railway Protection Force (on trains) or the Station master will try to obtain his personal details.
The concerned station master will make announcements on public address system of the railway station, with respect to the child found there and inform the local police station.