ChildLine sees an increase in children begging in Bengaluru

Officials point out that people behind the begging mafia have all documents to indicate that children are enrolled in schools

On Wednesday, ahead of Children’s Day, which is celebrated in India on November 14, the helpline ChildLine (1098) drew attention to underprivileged children who fall between the cracks.

A majority of the calls that the helpline received in Bengaluru pertain to children found begging on the streets. Between April 2018 and March 2019, it dealt with 697 cases of children begging in Bengaluru alone.

Sheila Devaraj, ChildLine Director, expressed helplessness in dealing with such cases as more often than not, the children’s parents are present. “We are seeing a lot of cases near Brigade Road and MG Road where kids sell flowers and pens at night, and that is dangerous. We have tried rescuing them but their families do not allow us to intervene. When parents are present, we do not have the powers to rescue the child. We need a lot of support from the City Police,” she said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Officials of the helpline also pointed out that people behind the begging mafia have all documents to indicate that the children are enrolled in school.

“A child welfare committee is not an investigative body and can only rely on the documents,” said Anjali Ramanna, Chairperson Child Welfare Committee.

Between April 2018 and March 2019 , ChildLine received 3,095 intervention cases ranging from child marriage and physical abuse to child labour, bonded labour, among others.

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Printable version | Jul 13, 2020 12:28:54 PM |

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