Social Media to Help Track Down Missing Kids

Published: 07th October 2014 06:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th October 2014 06:03 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: Now, the parents of missing children across the country have turned to the social sites to track down their offsprings after a toddler Jahnvi Ahuja, who went missing from India Gate lawns in Delhi a week ago, was found abandoned by the kidnappers following a widespread online campaign               .

And on Monday, the parents of 39 missing children started posting pictures of the kids on the social sites appealing for help to track them down. A resident of Noida in UP Mahendra Soni has uploaded the picture of his 18-year-old nephew Abhay, who has vanished.

“With an appeal to their friends and relatives to circulate the pictures further, the parents of missing kids are now taking to social media hoping to trace their kids,” said Additional Commissioner of Police S B S Tyagi.

According to the Addl Commissioner, it is a good initiative. “The social media have wider reach and people do notice such things on social networks. Posting pictures of missing kids on social media along with contact numbers will be  helpful to the police as well,” he said.

Here in the national capital, 18 children go missing on an average every day and four of them are never traced. In 2013, a total of 6,494 children disappeared in Delhi.

By taking the online route, Afghan national Farhad Kamran managed to track down his missing differently-abled brother at Kurukshetra in Haryana in 2012.

“When I was looking for my brother I took a lot of help from social media and printed thousands of pamphlets which helped me to track him down. The parents and relatives have to use all available mediums to circulate posters and pamphlets across the country,” said Kamran.

Child rights activist Manish Bhatnagar said the people ought to learn a lesson or two from Jahnvi’s parents. “The police should adopt new technologies and use social media extensively in such cases,” he said.

The traffic and North-East Wing of Delhi Police have started an extensive campaign on social networking sites but the rest of the departments are yet to follow suit.  The police officer said that whenever a missing case comes to them, they first upload all the details along with pictures on an intranet network-- Zonal Integrated Police Network (Zipnet) -- which is shared by six states -- Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand. Recently, the Ministry of Women and Child Development has made a special website www.trackthemissing and has linked it with zipnet to get all the feeds from the police.

24 hours after a child is reported missing, police register a case of kidnapping against unknown persons and print pamphlets and distribute it at all the police stations, bus intersections, hospitals and markets. But they never use the social media to circulate the details.

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