Missing children, missing childhood

fate of children

A total of 90,654 children were reported missing across India in 2011, and 34,406 remained untraced, according to federal Home Ministry data. They could be abducted or they could be runaways, lost, abandoned – but they often end being targets of trafficking.

After being sold, they are pushed into forced, unpaid labour at homes, roadside eateries, farms and factories like embroidery and bangle making units, or absorbed into prostitution, the illegal organ trade or begging rackets far away from their homes where it is difficult to trace them.

If parents are not too scared to go to police, they often hear from the officers, the girl might have eloped with the neighbour’s boy. Boys could have run away for work or to purchase the dream of becoming a Bollywood star. Or conditions at home were not favourable for the children.

Even if  a case is filed: Most of the missing children come from poorer sections of society, largely urban slums and poor village homes. Their parents often don’t have a photograph of them – which makes it close to impossible to trace them.

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