Near 5000 children rescued by GRP under ‘Operation Muskan’ in a year
Mumbai Railway Police has successfully traced as many as 4,804 ‘missing’ children and reunited 4,386 of them with their family under ‘Operation Muskan’, according to figures obtained from Railway Police. The remaining 418 children were handed to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) of the state.
From the 4,804 missing children that were rescued from the Mumbai Railway Commissionerate, 1,363 were girls. Among the rescued girls, 1,298 were reunited with their parents and guardians while 65 girls were handed over to CWC.
The Mumbai Railway Commissionerate is spread across 17 stations of the city, ranging from CST to Karjat-Kasara and Khopoli at Central Railway and from Churchgate to Palghar at Western Railway. Three rounds of ‘Operation Muskan’ were launched separately and each round lasted for a month.
According to official data, the first round of ‘Operation Muskan’ was carried out in the month of July last year, the second round was launched in January this year and the third round was started in April.
The aim of ‘Operation Muskan’ was to curb child-trafficking and rescue children from people who try to engage them in begging, sex-trade, labour and other anti-social activities. Under this programme, specially-trained police officers help with screening the residing places of children in the premises and surroundings of railway stations.
The maximum number of children were rescued from Mumbai Central railway police station on the Western line, with 1,803 rescued. It was followed by CST where 768 children were rescued.
A senior railway police official, while talking to PTI, explained the process of handing over rescued kids to their parents, “First we ask and verify the details of the children about their parents and if found to be true, we hand over them. Otherwise, there is a Child Welfare Committee, working under the state government, which takes care of these children in shelter homes and the process of reuniting them with their parents continues.”