Of total 786 missing children, 683 recovered by Police in J&K UT from 2019 to 2021

VIKAS SHARMA

JAMMU :  Of 786 missing children (below 18 years), 683 children were recovered by the Police in the last three years from 2019 to 2021 in the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir.

In 2019, as many as 277 children went missing. The UT Police managed to trace 260 children.  Similarly in 2020, a total of 230 children went missing and police recovered 183 children. In 2021, the highest number of 279 children went missing out of which 240 were recovered by the Police which was also the highest among the recovered children.

Overall, a total of 73885 children went missing across the country in 2019 of which 69574 were recovered by the police of respective States/UTs. In 2020, 59262 children went missing and 64573 were traced. In 2021, 77535 children went missing and 76827 were traced.

This was disclosed by the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Ajay Kumar Mishra during a reply to a Written Question on ‘Missing Children Recovered by the Police’ in the Rajya Sabha recently. Pertinently, National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) compiles and publishes information on crime in its publication “Crime in India”.

However, the Ministry of Women and Child Development is implementing a Centrally Sponsored Scheme “Mission Vatsalya” to support the States/UTs for delivering services for Children in Need of Care and Protection (CNCP) and Children in Conflict with Law (CCL) in difficult circumstances, including for the missing children.

The Child Care Institutions (CCIs) established under the scheme support inter-alia age-appropriate education, access to vocational training, recreation, health care and counseling. However, in the past six years, over three lakh children went missing and around 2.70 lakh were rescued between 2015 and 2020.

Child rights NGOs have flagged a sharp rise in the number of children who have gone missing in the last two years due to the social impact of COVID-19. In order to prevent the situation for worsening, the organisations have called for the immediate strengthening of child protection committees at the village level, sensitising and training parents, and urged the Government to make adequate budget allocation in this connection.  There is almost a 13 times rise in the number of cases of missing children reported annually between 2008 and 2020.