A grab of the web portal www.trackthemissingchild.gov.in
Ranchi, March 16: Jharkhand is now among 18 states to access Child Track, a database software developed by National Informatics Centre (NIC) and piloted in Bengal in 2008 to monitor children lost and found and curb trafficking.
The state police, which jumped to the integrated e-network in January 2013, has so far uploaded full details of 100 missing Jharkhand children on the portal www.trackthemissingchild.gov.in. Though it has not yet had a success story since its January launch, the police are confident that this is a key trafficking combat tool of the future.
As soon as a police diary/FIR related to a missing child is filed, the case is uploaded with details for police and social welfare officials to access. Jharkhand police can also stay in constant touch with counterparts in other states via the centralised portal. Converging to help are state social welfare department, Unicef, toll-free numbers 1098 (childline), 100 (police) and outfits such as Child Welfare Committee and Children’s Home.
In a state where child trafficking trails start from Gumla, Simdega, Lohardaga, Ranchi, Khunti and Dhanbad and end in Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, or states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha, tracking a child is tough.
But inspector-general (CID) Anurag Gupta sounded positive. “Though it is early days yet, I can vouch for the fact that this software will help. We are working round-the-clock to prepare a database of missing children even from remote villages and trying to contact their parents. Thanks to this online inter-state network, the details of the 100 missing children can be accessed by police, say, even in Rajasthan or Tamil Nadu,” Gupta said.
He added that Jharkhand police had been trained to use this software, maintain database and communicate virtually with counterparts from other states.
In September 2012, Union ministry of woman and child development had launched Child Track and requested states and Union territories to use it to trace missing children and prevent trafficking.
Unicef (Jharkhand) chief Job Zachariah said NGOs and panchayati raj institutions had a big role to play in collecting data about missing children.
“We are working closely with panchayat bodies and ward members to collect records of children leaving Jharkhand. After monitoring a case for two months, we hand over the data for uploading in the centralised web portal,” he said.
Social social welfare department has also formed a child protection cell to register missing cases.
It is also a wake-up call for police thanas in the hinterland to shed reluctance and register FIRs when villagers report cases of missing children. In many cases, rural parents allege the local police did not take their complaints seriously.
In Ranchi, however, the situation is better. SP (city) Vipul Shukla said they did file FIRs and in many cases they even rescued children within a week.
“If not, we compile the data of the missing child and send it to CID (Jharkhand), which uploads it on the central portal. On an average, we receive two or three cases of missing children a month,” the SP (city) added.