Mangaluru : Union minister for women and child development Maneka Gandhi said that the ministry is planning to bring 200 railway stations across the country under its radar by the end of this year in a move to curb child trafficking.
“About 90% of the child trafficking cases take place through railway network and there are 12,000 railway stations in the country and we have started the programme in 20 stations,” she said here on Sunday.
The ministry will put up posters in all bogies and ask passengers to call 1098 in case they see a child travelling alone or in an uncomfortable situation with adults . “As soon as the train reaches the next station, somebody will come to investigate the matter. Passengers can also inform railway police,” she added.
The ministry will also set up telephone booths in railway stations where a child can come and call for help. “We hope these measures will help stop child trafficking,” she said.
She said that priority will be given to set up more phone booths in railway stations so that children can dial the Childline’s number quickly. “Officials will arrive at the address and do the needful. We will also create awareness among railway officials so that they can identify children in distress and inform NGOs who will rehabilitate them,” she added.
Childline director Rene D’Souza said the system has been made centralized through a central communication centre and all calls are routed through Chennai and hence it is difficult to know how many cases are reported from railway stations in Mangaluru.
Last year the Childline received 3,555 calls and of them 13 were from railway stations.
The centre gets about 350-400 calls pertaining to child abuse and trafficking every month.
(NGO News from : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/)