By Pramila Krishnan
Published on Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 in Deccan Chronicle
Chennai: The missing children bureau, started in Tamil Nadu in 2001 under the Tamil Nadu social defence department to trace children, is missing for the last four years. The bureau’s web portal has not been updated since 2007 and there was no information about whether the 200-odd children registered on the site as missing were restored to the families or not.
Take this case: M. Karthik Kannan, age 11, height 3.5 metres; missing date: 28/12/2002. Place: Coimbatore. Identification marks: Fair looking boy, a scar on the right elbow and protruding teeth. His photo and details were registered on the website but the site has no details about whether he was traced or not. Like him, over 10,500 children went missing in Tamil Nadu in the last five years, according to the national crime records bureau. Child rights activists question the absence of the bureau.
Jebaraj of NGO JustTrust, which works against child trafficking, said, “Several missing children are trafficked and forced into bonded labour, sexual exploitation and begging. When the MCB itself is missing, it shows the lack of love and commitment to work for the rights of children in our state.”
Requesting anonymity, a senior officer who worked in the department said, “The bureau stopped functioning long ago. The photos of children reported by the parents with the police as missing were uploaded on the website. But no big measure was taken to reunite the children with their families.”
The officer said now the department is considering to post a nodal officer to regulate the bureau. Social defence department director N. Mathivanan told DC that the bureau was closed and a new project, ‘Track the child’, would soon be implemented.
- Supreme Court: Nobody concerned about missing children (thehindu.com)
- SC pulls up Centre, states on missing children’ status report (deccanchronicle.com)
- Psychics (raffertysrules.wordpress.com)