In the last three years, South Western Railway (SWR) and non-government organisations have rescued more than 2,600 children from stations that fall under the zone.
While some were runaways, others were victims of child labour, prostitution, and organ-trade rings. In Bengaluru, 416 children were rescued in 2017, and 523 in 2018 from the Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna Railway station, the Yeshwanthpur railway station, and others.
SWR on Saturday observed ‘International Missing Children’s Day’ to create awareness among the public and railway passengers on rescuing children.
The Railway Protection Force of SWR started the operation ‘Nanhe Farishte’, a dedicated child-rescue initiative in July 2017.
Divisional Railway Manager of Bengaluru division Ashok Kumar Verma said: “We have also set up kiosks to interact and counsel the children after they are rescued. More than 70% of children who are been rescued are reunited with their parents”.
Every eight minutes, one child goes missing in India, said the RPF.
The public, especially passengers, can call the tollfree security helpline number 182, the Childline 1098, or the police helpline 100 to alert them about suspicious movement of children in the railway premises, whether alone or accompanied by an adult.