The Railway Protection Force (RPF) of the Central Railway said on Friday that it had rescued 504 children in coordination with Government Railway Police and other frontline railway staff from railway platforms in the past four months under Operation Nanhe Farishte.
They included 330 boys and 174 girls and were reunited with their parents with the help of non-governmental organisations such as Childline.
According to the RPF, its trained personnel had rescued the children who had come to railway stations without informing their parents, because of some family issues or in search of a better life. The personnel counselled them before reuniting them with their parents. Last year the RPF rescued 603 boys and 368 girls from Central Railway stations.
The Railways have recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Association for Voluntary Action, also known as Bachpan Bachao Andolan, to work towards ending the human trafficking through railways. The NGO is associated with Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthy’s Children Foundation, the RPF said in a statement. The RPF has also launched Operation AAHT (Action Against Human Trafficking) and rescued human trafficking victims, it added.
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The division-wise breakup of children rescued from Central Railways stations in 2022 is as follows: Mumbai (206 boys and 79 girls), Pune (50 boys and 21 girls), Bhusaval (47 boys and 45 girls), Nagpur (12 boys and 20 girls) and Solapur (15 boys and 9 girls).