19,000 Missing children were rescued in ‘Operation Smile’

Home Minister Rajnath Singhs ‘Operation Smile’ rescues 19,000 missing children from slavery, abuse. The Centre also plans to reward individual officers based on their performance but wants details of identified children to be published in media.

Rajnath Singh has seen different state police , women and child departments step up efforts to rescue missing children, with Haryana and Maharashtra taking the lead. MHA plans a one-day national seminar on human trafficking on October 7.

In many cases, the missing children were traced to shelter homes. “Despite giving details of his where-about, the authorities never made an effort to inform his parents,” said an official involved in the operation. Police also reported that the number of rescued boys was higher than girls, who are mostly pushed into prostitution.

Home Ministry has also asked the state governments to sensitise and train police officers at various ranks about issued related to missing children, POSCO Act, Juvenile Justice Act and Protection of Child Rights Acts and then sent to various parts of the country including Delhi, Jaipur, Haridwar, Gurgaon, Mumbai and Kolkata to recover missing children.

“During the seminar, we plan to hold a special session on child trafficking,” said an official. Officials also say that investigations into several cases of missing children have also brought the roles of shelter homes under scanner and they might propose an amendment in law that governs shelter homes.