Goalpara: In a good bit of news amid the doom and gloom of the COVID-19 pandemic, a 13-year-old autistic child missing from his home for the last five years was reunited with his family on Friday (October 9). The child, hailing from Handia in Uttar Pradesh, was traced to a child home in Assam's Goalpara district. This miraculous discovery can largely be attributed to the Telangana Police's facial recognition tool called 'Darpan.'
The child was spotted while the Telangana police was using the Darpan tool to match photographs of missing children with those who have been housed at child homes. Telangana Police upon identifying the child, informed the station house officer (SHO) of Handia police station who in turn informed the parents of the missing child. A team was dispatched to the state-run children's home in Goalpara, where they found the child.
The child, Som Soni, had gone missing on July 14, 2015. According to reports, the missing boy was spotted by Goalpara police in Assam on July 23 and admitted into a local child welfare center.
How does 'Darpan' work?
The police collect data (photographs of missing children), from FIRs registered across the country and from CCTNS (Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems), and also from track the child portal (https://trackthemissingchild.gov.in/trackchild/index.php).
They also get photographs of traced children from the track the child portal, from the child care institutions across the country, and the women and child welfare department. The software runs and matches the missing and traced children. It gives three-four options.
To date, the Telangana state police department has traced and reunited 23 children with their families using 'Darpan'. The software was launched in 2018. Now, the advanced scanning technology has been credited as the sole reason for reuniting Som Soni with his family. A truly remarkable episode, don't you think?