Government Railway Police (GRP) superintendent of GRP Hemanta Kumar Das is a happy man.
The GRP has rescued 20 children from being trafficked so far this year, his team said on Monday.
Last year, the GRP had rescued 16 trafficked and 137 stranded children from different stations.
“More than 100 stranded children have been rescued this year. They have been sent to their guardians or handed over to the child welfare committee (CWC). A total of eight cases have been registered and 10 traffickers arrested. Last year, eight cases were registered and 14 traffickers arrested,” superintendent of GRP Hemanta Kumar Das said.
The CWC aims to find a safe home and environment for the rescued children. They are also sent back to their parents, foster care or to an institution.
The CWC also interviews the children to learn their background and understand their problems.
“We are taking a proactive role in identifying children in need of protection at railway stations and sending them to a safer place before they get into crime. Earlier, our role would begin when a crime has been committed,” he added.
The GRP organises special programmes for its personnel and stakeholders on how to identify vulnerable children. A workshop on child trafficking was organised by the Kamrup child protection unit in association with the GRP and Railway Protection Force at Rangiya station on May 17.
Besides Das, CWC chairman Basanta Sarma, district social welfare officer Rubul Sarma, district child protection officer Malabika Kalita, legal expert Babita Saikia, RPF assistant security commissioner Mohammed Ehsan and social workers, railway officials and other stakeholders attended the workshop. Das said, “Rangiya station is one of the hotspots for child trafficking in the Northeast. We have been coming across several cases at this station.”
The GRP also urged passengers to inform them if they come across anything untoward on trains or at platforms.