BENGALURU: Association for Promoting Social Action (APSA), an NGO, has launched a 16-day campaign ‘Every8Minutes’ to create awareness against child trafficking and missing children in the city. This comes after the National Crime Records Bureau released statistics which show that a child goes missing in India every eight minutes and 40 per cent of these children remain untraced.
The NGO is spreading awareness through street plays, mimes and messages on radio channels. A team of APSA staged a short play ‘Kaneyagiddeve’ at Bal Bhavan on Saturday to help children and their parents understand how young girls are easy targets for trafficking.
The situation is not any better in Karnataka, says Savitha Devi, project coordinator, Suraksha Centre. She says that 55 per cent of the missing children are girls and an average of 27 girls go missing or are abducted in Karnataka every day. According to NCRB, Bengaluru tops the list in Karnataka, registering the maximum number of missing or kidnapping complaints, she says. She adds the campaign will motivate the public to report incidents of trafficking and child abuse.
Manoj of UST Global, a corporate firm which has extended help to APSA, appealed to the audience gathered at Bal Bhavan to dial the helpline number 1098 if they see a child in danger.
APSA founder P Lakshapathy says that girls who abandoned their parents for one reason or the other are often the victims of trafficking. Many girls are cheated on the pretext of job or marriage and are pushed into prostitution, he says.