National

RPF to implement Child Rescue Campaign at 47 more railway stations

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, September 26, 2017

Drawing upon the success of the campaign launched by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) to rescue distressed children, the Ministry of Railways has decided to extend it to 47 more railway stations in addition to the existing 35 stations.
With these additional stations, the RPF campaign will be implemented from 82 railways stations, including all the  A1 Category stations numbering 75.
"Operation Muskaan" is an initiative of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to rescue and rehabilitate missing children. It is a dedicated campaign where several activities are taken up by police organizations to trace and rescue missing children and reunite them with their families.
The Government Railway Police and Railway Protection Force are required to take preventive measures and also take action in case children in need of care and protection are found in trains and railway premises.
During the years 2014, 2015 and 2016, RPF personnel have been able to rescue 20,931 children including 1,317 trafficked children (944 boys and 373 girls). In the current year 2017, up to August, as many as 7,126 children have been rescued by RPF including 185 trafficked children (124 boys and 61 girls).
The Railway Protection Force rescues 20-25 such children daily from trains and railway premises and hand them over to their parents, relatives, NGOs, Child Welfare Committees or other legal rehabilitation institutions.
The RPF has been conferred with the ‘Service of Excellence Award’ by the Ministry of Home Affairs for the efforts in the rescue of missing children.
Special Kiosks and Child Help Desks are set up at the designated stations manned round the clock by RPF staff and the staff of Childline/NGO nominated by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. This entire exercise is being undertaken as per the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Railways to ensure care and protection of children in contact with Railways jointly developed by Railway Ministry, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
A large number of run-aways, unaccompanied and trafficked children travel to different parts of the country. The Railways carry a significantly large proportion of such children and many use railway premises for shelter and livelihood. These children are highly vulnerable to all forms of abuse, violence, neglect, and exploitation, the release added.
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