JAMMU: The Railway Protection Force (RPF) rescued 16,457 children from railway stations and trains across the country during 2019, a senior official said on Wednesday.
Majority of the rescued minor boys and girls had run away from their homes while others had been kidnapped, left behind at train stations or were being trafficked.
As many as 446 children were rescued from the clutches of 68 human traffickers who were arrested, the RPF said.
"RPF is committed to serve the nation and humanity in saving lives," Director General of the force, Arun Kumar told PTI.
Of the total rescued children, 13,025 were runaways, 1,294 were left behind in trains or at railway stations, 1,091 were missing, 252 were destitute children, 133 were street kids, 108 were mentally challenged, 89 had been kidnapped and 13 had fallen down from trains, they said.
The force also saved 495 people including 260 males and 235 females from grave mishaps last year, they said, adding that several RPF personnel lost their lives in the process.
One such instance of supreme sacrifice was reported on April 21 last year when a 50-year-old RPF constable Jagbir Singh Rana who was deployed near rail track between Adarshnagar and Ajadpur laid down his life while saving a woman and three children from coming under the wheels of an oncoming train, the force said.
Similarly, in September last year, RPF jawan Shivcharan Gurjar of Western Railways while on train escort duty, saved the lives of 9 people trapped in floods without caring for his own life, they said.