181 children go missing from J&K from July 2022 to June 2023: Ministry of Women and Child Development

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Srinagar, Aug 2: A total of 181 children have gone missing from Jammu and Kashmir from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023, reveals an official data of the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

As per the data, nearly 58,546 children went missing across India during the same period.

Earlier, National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) data revealed that 627 children had gone missing in J&K by 2020 that included 350 boys and 277 girls.

In 2020 alone, 230 children including 167 girls and 63 boys went missing in Jammu and Kashmir.

The NCRB data suggested that the recovery rate of the missing children in J&K was a mere 29.2 percent.

Under Mission Vatsalya Scheme, 817 children including child labourers had been rescued and rehabilitated by Child Welfare Committees in J&K.

In the last five years, the government revealed that 35 children were booked under drug-related offences including the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.

Child Welfare Committee Chairperson, Khair-ul-Nissa told Greater Kashmir that they had custody of seven missing children currently.

She said that the reasons behind missing children cases involving locals and non-locals differ significantly.

“Local children often leave their homes due to familial conflicts while non-locals primarily come for work opportunities,” Nissa said.

“We are receiving cases of missing children, but mostly these cases are non-locals. Earlier, we registered missing cases of locals as well but they had been traced out within hours and the matter was resolved,” she said. “Similarly, we are sending the missing non local children to their homes after involving police and Child Welfare committees."

Director Mission Vatsalya, Harvinder Kaur told Greater Kashmir that there were centres and committees where missing cases of children had been registered.

“We are doing our best to handle such cases with care," she said.

To address the issue of missing children, the Centre has implemented the ‘TrackChild’ portal, which allows any citizen to report missing or sighted children.

Various stakeholders, including the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Railways, state governments and UT administrations, Child Welfare Committees, Juvenile Justice Boards, and the National Legal Services Authority, support this portal.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) have been issued to ensure effective utilisation of the ‘TrackChild’ portal.

The ‘TrackChild’ portal is integrated with the Crime and Criminal Tracking and Network Systems (CCTNS) of the Ministry of Home Affairs, enabling matching of FIRs of missing children with the ‘TrackChild’ database to facilitate tracing and reunification efforts by the concerned state and UT police.

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