In an effort to expedite tracking of missing children, the Missing Child Bureau (MCB), through its nodal agency Bosco, along with the Department of Women and Child Development and police will soon integrate their database on to a newly developed portal - TrackChild 1.0, (http://trackthemissingchild.gov.in/trackchild/karnataka), a National Tracking System for Missing and Vulnerable Children.
The portal will have all the stakeholders simultaneously contributing to the data about missing and traced children across the state.
At present, cases regarding missing children are registered by the police when parents approach them, or complaints taken up by Bosco, an NGO that works with the young at risk in the city, which directs parents to the police. But there was no common database with information regarding all the missing children on a single portal.
Through this tracking system, a common database will be maintained and updated by the police, Child Care Institutions (CCIs) that include shishu mandiras, bala and balakiya mandiras, special homes and observation homes for juveniles in conflict with law, anganwadi centres, hospitals, railway stations and NGOs, said Fr P Jose, Director, Missing Child Bureau-Karnataka.
“Conflict within the family, poverty, migration and bad habits lead many children to go missing. In most cases, enough time is not given to look for the missing child who may be languishing on streets, homes run by the government and move from one NGO to the next,” said Fr Jose.
Under the system, available profiles of all missing children with details like their name, identifiable information like parents’ names, hometown and the location where they were found, photographs depending on availability, height, weight, type and colour of clothing will be uploaded on the central data repository.
While the police will also parallelly update the system, the District Crime Record Bureaus and district and state child protection societies will authenticate and update the repository. TrackChild 1.0 also enables citizens to report about missing and traced children.
Bosco has already shared the profiles of over 50,000 unaccompanied children from the state found at bus stops, railway stations, government homes or reported found through radio stations. “We have also shared details of 15,000 missing complaints since 2007,” Fr Jose said.
“Police will have to use the information to be shared in the network.”
He further said that under the new system, the bureau will share data on a daily basis with all the stakeholders. “So far, we shared data only when the department or police asked us for it. Now on, we will upload the data as and when we receive new cases,” Fr Jose said.
Gurneet Tej, Director, Department of Women and Child Development, said that data entry activities were in progress in the 26 districts of the state that have MCBs working in collaboration with NGOs.
TrackChild 1.0 was developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC). “The system will enable easy data-sharing. From here, missing and traced children are matched and reunited with their families even if they have moved to another city or state,” Gurneet said.
“The data entry will begin by the end of this month.”