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’.
Rest of the 418 children were handed to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) of the state, figures obtained from Railway Police said.
Out of 4,804 run-away or missing children that were rescued from Mumbai Railway Commissionerate, about 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.
Mumbai Railway Commissionerate is spread across the 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 available figures, first round of ‘Operation Muskan’ was carried out in the month of July last year, second round was launched in the month of January this year and third round was launched in April.
The aim of the programme was to curb child-trafficking and rescue children from persons who try to engage them in begging, sex-trade, labour and other anti-social activities.
Under this programme, specially-trained police chip in to screen all the residing places of children in the premises and surroundings of railway stations, said the officer.
Mumbai Central railway police station on the Western line tops the list of traced run-away children, from where a total of 1,803 children (23 per cent) were rescued, which was followed by CST where 768 children (16 per cent) were rescued.
Explaining the process of handing over a rescued child to their parents or guardians, a senior railway police official said, “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.