Recently I come across at least one missing child information shared by my contacts in social media every week. The thought of what might their near and dear one's be going through in those period until they find the child is very disturbing. How on earth somebody is able to kidnap a child? Has money become so important in life that we lost all our moral values?
Few days back came to know that my cousins friends son was missing. I don't know for some reason it has been so disturbing that i haven't come out of that yet. During that period, came across couple of sites relating to this and I believe those weren't well advertised among the public. So thought I would do my share by writing a blog post and spreading the word around.
These where important websites launched by government of India (Ministry of Women's and Child development) where one can register the details about the missing child. Since its government of India initiative hoping required focus would be there from the concerned authorities!!
1. Khoya Paya (Lost and Found) - http://khoyapaya.gov.in/
Important: Please note currently if you don't have a mobile number then you cannot register and post in this website. Also apart from posting it here its mandatory to register a FIR in the police station as well.
Steps to be followed by the Parents/Citizen in case a child is missing - extract from http://khoyapaya.gov.in/mpp/dosAndDonts
- Dial 100 for police (or) 1098 for CHILDLINE.
- Go to the Police station and register an FIR.
- Upload the information of the child on the Khoya-Paya and other similar portals.
- Think about what your child was wearing when you last saw him/her. Was he/she carrying with him/her, a mobile phone, money, bank cards, any items of sentimental value such as toy etc.?
- Notify all local media assignment desks.
- Make a list of / talk to friends, acquaintances, and anyone else who might have information or clues about your child.
- If you know where your child is and you are still concerned for their safety (e.g. if they are at a house where you suspect criminal activities are taking place) you can ask the police to carry out a welfare check on that house or location.
- Parents should immediately inform the Station Master or officer concerned at nearby railway station as usually trafficking or migration of children mostly takes place through railway route.
- Rapidly create and disseminate posters to help generate leads.
- Remember - NEVER GIVE UP HOPE!
2. Track the missing child - http://www.trackthemissingchild.gov.in/trackchild/index.php
Check out the Dos and Don'ts section of this site which talks about "What you can do to protect your child?"
Tips for parents to help their children stay safe - Extract from Do's & Don'ts section of http://www.trackthemissingchild.gov.in/
Safety at Home
A. Children should know their full name, home address, home phone number and how to use the telephone. Post your contact information where your children will see it: office phone number, cell phone etc.
B. Children should have a trusted adult to call if they're scared or have an emergency.
C. Choose caregiver/nanny with care. Obtain references from family, friends, and neighbors. Once you have chosen the caregiver, drop in unexpectedly to see how your children are doing. Ask your children how the experience with the caregiver was, and listen carefully to their responses.
Safety in the Neighborhood
A. Make a list with your children of their neighborhood boundaries, choosing significant landmarks.
B. Interact regularly with your neighbors. Tell your children whose homes they are allowed to visit.
C. Don't drop your children off alone at fair, market places, railway stations, bus stands or parks.
D. Teach your children that adults should not approach children for help or directions. Tell your children that if they are approached by an adult, they should stay alert because this may be a "trick."
E. Never leave children unattended in an automobile. Children should never hitchhike or approach a car when they don't know and trust the driver.
F. Children should never go anywhere with anyone without getting your permission first.
G. Children should never go anywhere with anyone without getting your permission first.
Safety at School
A. Be careful when you put your child's name on clothing, backpacks, lunch boxes or bicycle license plates. If a child's name is visible, it may put them on a "first name" basis with an abductor.
B. Walk the route to and from school with your children, pointing out landmarks and safe places to go if they're being followed or need help. Make a map with your children showing acceptable routes to school, using main roads and avoiding shortcuts or isolated areas. If your children take a bus, visit the bus stop with them and make sure they know which bus to take.
Please check the Do's and Don'ts section of this site as it has other useful information's like:
1. How to talk to your Child (tips for discussing child safety)
2. What you can do to help your Child (tips for parents to help their children stay safe)
3. What your Child can do (the rules for younger children)
4. What your Teen can do (the rules for older children)
5. What your Child can do (at school and at home)
6. What to do in an Emergency (numbers to call and information to collect)
7. How to keep you Child safe in information superhighway (golden rules for safe browsing)
8. Additional resources for parents and children
Hoping for a day when child kidnapping, abuse & trafficking stops completely and these websites becomes obsolete. Till then lets stay safe people.
One missing child is one too many - John Walsh