The Railway Protection Force (RPF) of the Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR) has rendered yeoman service to Assam and Bengal by rescuing 685 children in the past 17 months. These children were being trafficked out of the Northeast in trains for the most inhuman kind of exploitation in other States of India. The latest rescue was that of 10 minor boys at Rangiya railway station on Monday. According to Pranav Jyoti Sharma, Chief Public Relations Officer of the NFR, 515 children were rescued by the RPF personnel from different stations and trains mainly in Assam and Bengal under the NFR in 2017, while 170 had been rescued this year so far. Over the years, the Northeast has been a popular source area for traffickers. Minor boys and girls are taken from the Northeast to other parts of the country as well as to neighbouring countries like Nepal for use as child labour and much worse. The RPF has taken this as a challenge and stepped up its vigil against trafficking and other anti-social acts through trains, and has succeeded in rescuing many. Unfortunately, many people in Assam do not know what happens to the trafficked children. Many trafficked girls become victims of sexual abuse and end up in brothels in Mumbai, Delhi and Goa. Minor boys are engaged as veritable slaves in hazardous industries in Maharashtra, Delhi and Kerala. They are often lodged in fortified campuses and are punished if they refuse to work overtime or want to come back home. It is high time we took greater interest in preventing the trafficking of children and their enslavement and to put an end to the sexual abuse of minor girls from Assam. Our government has failed us most miserably in preventing the most horrendous crimes to minors.
Our Abducted Children