Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi met senior railway officials to discuss the welfare of abandoned children found at railway stations and children who are victims of trafficking trough trains across the country.
Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi met senior railway officials to discuss the welfare of abandoned children found at railway stations and children who are victims of trafficking through trains across the country.
In the meeting Ms Gandhi discussed about implementation of protocols that would help in rescuing these children and play a role in their rehabilitation. As per procedure the train ticket examiners, railway police and the station master would play a key role in the rescue operation of such kids by sending an alert to the juvenile protection unit of the nearest station. This will be followed by officials from the unit coming and releasing the children and taking them into safe custody.
The issue of rescue and rehabilitation of the abandoned and trafficked children has been led by the Women and Child Development Ministry and the PMO.
Meanwhile VS Oberoi, secretary of the Women and Child Development Ministry, has sent a written request to the chairman of the railway board focusing on the urgent need of a protocol to be implemented with regard to issuing of protection of the discarded children.
According to reports in The Times of India, top priority will be given to the setting up of greater number of phone booths in every railway station so that a child in any strife can quickly dial Childline's number following which the officials will arrive at the address and take custody of the child. The second priority is to create awareness among railway officials so that they can identify children in distress and inform the NGOs to release and rehabilitate such children.
"A single child at a station should set off alarm bells. We can provide support from NGOs for rehabilitation but Railways needs to ensure that trafficked children do not leave the source destination,'' a senior official from the Women and Child Development Ministry was quoted as saying.
As per expert reports, India is considered to be a huge source as well as destination for trafficking women and children for various purposes such as flesh trade and domestic help. Children are not only trafficked within the country but also to other areas of the world like the Middle-East and Africa.