237 children rescued after Nepal quakes missing
Kathmandu: The whereabouts of 237 children who were rescued after the powerful earthquake on April 25 in Nepal have gone missing, raising fears they could have fallen victims of trafficking.
The Central Child Welfare Board (CCWB), the government body entrusted to monitor the movement of children in the country, said 215 children from Gorkha district and 22 from Okhaldhunga district are still unaccounted for after the earthquake.
“We are yet to trace 215 children from Lho Monastery from Lho village in Gorkha,” said CCWB Director Dilli Ram Giri.
The status of 22 children from Okhaldhunga also remains unknown, Ekantipur reported.
The children are among the 337 children who were rescued from eight of the 14 districts worst affected by the quake and brought to Kathmandu by various government authorities and non-government agencies.
“A massive operation underway with help of police to find these children and unite them with their parents or guardians in their home districts,” Giri said.
Religious institutions like monasteries, ‘madrasas’, churches and temples have also been asked to provide the authorities with details of all children kept in their care.
The incident came to light after 195 children from Lho Monastery of Lho village in Gorkha district were rescued by police from Kathmandu’s Thankot and Dhading district, as they were travelling without the letter from the concerned authorities.
Last month, the government had banned children below 16 years of age from travelling outside their home district without a parent or another adult approved by the district child welfare board.
This was done to prevent trafficking of quake-affected children.
Nearly 9,000 people died and over 21,00 injured in two deadly earthquakes that struck Nepal on April 25 and May 12.