Pune: After the successful implementation of Operation Muskan in last two years to trace missing and destitute children and reunite them with their parents, the city police have launched the programme again from July 1. It will continue till July 31.
As per police records, in 2015, the police had traced 278 children while in 2016, they had reunited 24 children with their parents.
On July 1, a workshop on Operation Muskan was organised at the police commissioner’s office. The event was attended by police officers of all police stations in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad, welfare officers and NGO representatives from Childline, SOS Balgram, KM Mahila Sevagram, among others. Child Welfare Committee member Sunil Patil and ACP Sanjay Nikam guided them about Operation Muskan.
The main aim of the programme is to prevent child trafficking and rescue children from persons, who tried to engage them in begging, sexual trade and other anti-social activities. Under this programme, specially trained police teams would screen all children residing in shelter homes, railway platforms, bus stands, roads and at religious places. They will also extract required information from these children tactfully.
Senior Police Inspector Sanjay Patil, in-charge of the Crime Branch’s Social Security Cell (SSC), told Sakal Times, “We have formed two teams in the SSC, while all police stations have formed special teams comprising one officer and three constables for the task. Orders have been issued to rescue and reunite maximum children. We appeal to people to contact the police if they find any destitute children.”
Police officials said that since the launch of the programme on July 1, they have reunited four children, including a girl with their parents. The boys aged 15-17 years had run away from homes. They were found loitering on the premises of Pune railway station when they were rescued by NGO Saathi.
“The father of a boy from Pimpri is no more. His family stays in a slum and survives on collecting and selling scrap. The mother of a boy from Kasba Peth is dead. Though he has a financially stable family, he fell into wrong company and left home. Two boys are from Latur and their parents are farmers. All these had left home due to family issues or for sightseeing. The girl had run away and married a boy,” a police officer told Sakal Times.