Thousands of kids rescued from slavery after home ministry launches nationwide campaign

Police forces, which generally get into a limelight for wrong reasons, have a very strong reason to get an ovation this time. A report published by The Economic Times claims that ‘Operation Smile’, inspired from an initiative by the Ghaziabad Police to rescue missing children, has been instrumental in rescuing around 19,000 children from slavery and child abuse.

At the fag-end of the previous year, a report  by Ghaziabad police shared with the Home Ministry asserted that the police unit of Ghaziabad had recovered 227 missing children within 30 days. The Home Minister was quick to order other states to embrace ‘Operation Smile’. The campaign was not only received with sincerity but many it also inspired many senior police officers and journalists to promote it as its brand ambassadors.

As per initial reports, the umbrella campaign helped 2500 missing children to rescue from slavery and abuse, in the month of January alone. As reported by The Economic Times, by now, the maximum numbers of kids are liberated from Haryana, Maharashtra, Odisha and West Bengal.

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Reports shared by police units may talk about the depressing realities, but the results shared after rescue operations are good enough to kindle back hope and optimism.
In June, the Madhya Pradesh police successfully rescued 2955 missing kids.
In August, 164 children were rescued from slavery in Bengaluru. “Operation Smile’ busted a racket which resulted in the emancipation of 237 persons – including 164 children. The joint operation was carried out by policemen, officials from the Women and Child Welfare Department, Child Welfare Committee (CWC), representatives from various NGOs and Special Juvenile Police Units (SJPU).

In July, the Uttarakhand police traced 44 missing children from various parts of the state. A report published in newspapers further claimed that of these traced children, 31 were taken back to their families while the remaining 13 have been admitted to children’s home for rehabilitation.

Similar results have been obtained in the other parts of the country.

Many of these children leave home because of ill-treatment of their parents, but instead of finding a better life, they land up in the hands of mafia who force these kids into begging, rag picking, prostitution and other wicked activities. The Center, apart from  has plans to reward officers who are actively working for the cause.

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