CHILDREN’S DAY TODAY
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Nov 13: As the tion celebrates Children's Day tomorrow, the staggering statistics of missing children in Assam continue to be an issue of worry.
Official statistics reveal that between 2010 and 2015 (April), 9,084 children went missing in the State. Agencies could trace only 4,587 missing children, while 4,497 continues to be untraced.
In other words, every day, four/five children go missing in the State.
A majority of the missing children are girls.
A combition of floods, erosion, disasters and ethnic violence has made the State a hot-bed for traffickers. Rural families are losing land and livelihood to a repeated cycle of flood and erosion.
These traffickers often sell children to placement agencies in the metros. Some also end up in flesh trade and begging.
The impact of trafficking has been harder on girls. Around half of the girls trafficked from Assam are estimated to end up in brothels in the metros.
State CID officials say the flood-ravaged districts of Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Kokrajhar, Dhubri, Barpeta, Morigaon, Baksa, besides Kamrup, gaon, Hailakandi and Karimganj have reported most cases of missing children.
Nobel Peace prize winner Kailash Satyarthi, during his recent visit to the State, had urged Assam government to adopt a three-pronged approach to check trafficking of children from the state. He said he has suggested creation of a 'Rehabilitation and Welfare Fund' with participation from State government for immediate relief to trafficked children, a state-level action plan for prevention of trafficking with a state-level steering committee headed by the chief minister and appointment of a nodal officer at the Assam Resident Commissioner's office in Delhi.
Hearing a petition of NGO 'Bachpan Bachao Andolan' which accused the police of being lethargic and unconcerned about the parents' complaints of missing children, the Supreme Court has asked the government of four States, including Assam, to fast-track the investigations and trace the children.
But even the apex court directive to Assam Police has failed to make the State safer for children.