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29 children rescued from Mumbai

Child trafficking

Mumbai: As many as 29 children have been rescued by Ghaziabad Police from the country’s financial capital Mumbai under its ‘Operation Smile’, taking the total number of kids saved from child labour this year to 190.

Police have rescued 29 missing children with the help Mumbai police, said Deputy Superintendent of Police Ran Vijay Singh.

The children belong to different districts of Uttar Pradesh and so far 190 children have been rescued since January 1 and the operation will go on till January 31, the officer said.

In the first phase of ‘Operation Smile’ last year, police had rescued 227 children.

“25 police teams comprising 100 trained personnel have been dispatched to Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and Haridwar.

“They are searching minor children roaming on roads, working in restaurants, begging on traffic signals, picking rags, sitting outside temples, working at shops, carrying gas lanterns on head in marriage processions, outside canteen of model wine shops etc,” he said.

In most of the cases endeavour is to trace the address of the parents of the child recovered and go in depth about the reasons as to why he fled from home, the officer said.

“The effort is on to reunite them with their families,” the DSP said, adding, otherwise the rescued child is handed over to ‘shelter homes’.

Last year, the Central government asked all the states to take up similar initiatives.

“Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami has directed the chief secretaries and director generals of police of all the states to start an ‘Operation Smile’ campaign from January 1 to 31 to trace missing children,” Uttar Pradesh IG (Law and Order) A Satish Ganesh had said.

The IG had said the Centre was encouraged by the Ghaziabad Police’s campaign and it is being replicated at the national level.

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