Deccan Chronicle

3,176 kids rescued in July: Swati Lakra


The month-long ‘Operation smile’ has helped rescue 3,176 children across the state in July, the police said here on Sunday. The operation was headed by the Women Safety Wing of the police which worked with health, education, labour and women’s developmen­t and child welfare department­s and NGOS.

“Telangana has so far rescued over 45,000 children,” said Swati Lakra, additional director general of police (women’s safety), in an exclusive conversati­on with Deccan Chronicle.

The rescue operations in July yielded major results in Hyderabad, Cyberabad, Narayanpet and Vikarabad. Police registered 471 cases against those employing childlabou­r or bonded labour and rescued 2,776 boys and 400 girls.

Around 19 boys and four girls were rescued from brick kilns in addition to 187 children from begging, including 89 girls while 50 girls and 401 boys were rescued from the streets.

Rescues in other categories totaled 850 boys and 146 girls, she said, providing the figures exclusivel­y to Deccan Chronicle.

Police faced major difficulti­es to trace victims, who were asked to keep mum by the accused during the rescue operations. Police used the Darpan app which has details of children and a face verificati­on system. A total of 35,000 missing children have been rescued through the Darpan app. There were some from other states, she said.

Speaking about two cases, Lakra said that they were delighted while reuniting an eight-year-old boy with his parents after two years of separation. The anti-human traffickin­g unit of Nalgonda visited a child care institutio­n (CCI) and identified the eight-year-old boy who belonged to Odisha.

Another achievemen­t, she said, was in tracing a 12-year-old girl the very day she went missing in the Warangal commission­erate. She was spotted at the Hanamkonda railway station.

Asked why the operation is conducted only in January and July every year, Lakra said not all department­s can focus on the same operation throughout the year.

“All the department­s are trained rigorously and the task of each is cut out. There are subdivisio­ns which are allotted in the whole state. Only then does the operation become a success. However, the anti-human traffickin­g unit keeps rescuing children throughout the year,” the police official added.

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