KARNATAKA

Public hearing to he held on missing children

Special Correspondent

It will be held in the last week of this month

Such hearings will be held every month from now onCases will be forwarded to the Child Welfare Committee

Bangalore: Does it take a Noida-type incident for the authorities to take cases of missing children seriously? Can non-governmental institutions play a role in ensuring that the authorities sit up and take notice before the worst happens?

In the last week of February, Child Rights Trust (CRT) is organising a public hearing in which parents, government representatives, teachers, police officers, children and parents will participate. After the public hearing, which will be held every month, the cases will be forwarded to the Child Welfare Committee set up under the Juvenile Justice Act. "The committee can help by directing the police station concerned and follow up the matter with the help of networks," says Nagasimha G. Rao, communication officer of the CRT.

The number of missing children in Bangalore and other parts of the State is increasing every day, but no concrete efforts are being made by the authorities concerned to look into this issue, say NGOs working in the area of child rights. P.N. Basavaraj, one of the coordinators of Bosco, an NGO working with street children, adds that there is a reluctance on the part of the police to even file an FIR (first information report) when a parent goes with a missing child complaint. "They see it as additional burden," he says.

So, rather than go through the official network, Bosco relies more on its own nationwide database to track missing children reported to its centres.

Those who want to participate in the public hearing can contact the CRT by dialling 41138285 or 9880477198.

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