A special ‘help desk’ to rescue lost children in Kerala’s Ernakulam railway station
Thiruvananthapuram, June 8: Every year thousands of children go missing in India. Unfortunately, a lot of them end up in railway stations spread across the country. Activists working in the field of child care and protection say a lot of the missing kids are either runaway children or kidnapped and duped by anti-social elements.
In such a situation, a lot of the missing children have been rescued and rehabilitated by Childline, a voluntary organisation, from railway stations across the country in the last several years. Childline is a country-wide NGO which helps children in times of emergency, through its toll free number 1098.
In several of country's railways stations, Childline runs its special "help desk", the members of which are working to identify, rescue and rehabilitate missing children. Kerala's Ernakulam South Railway Station is the latest station to get its "Child Help Desk" on Thursday.
While inaugurating the help desk, district collector Muhammed Y Safirullah said with the city growing at a fast pace, more and more children, especially those from other states, are being exploited as a means of cheap labour. "Childline can help bring people who exploit children to justice," said official. "This will help us to identify kids who are made to work forcefully," he added.
#Kerala: A Child Help Desk has been set up by Railways, Ministry of Women & Child Development & District Administration at Ernakulam railway station. Mohammad Saffirulla, Child Help Desk Collector said, 'This will help us to identify kids who are made to work forcefully'. pic.twitter.com/dEVBJ6PYQy— ANI (@ANI) June 7, 2018
The Child Help Desk is a collaborative effort of the district administration, Union ministry of women and child development and the Union ministry of railways. Safirullah is the patron of the help desk. "A help desk will be set up at the North Railway station too," informed the official.
"It is of utmost importance to identify kids who are being abused or made to work ungodly hours. Help needs to be provided to them," he added.
According to the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report, at least 174 children go missing every day and half of them remain untraced in the country.