Odisha ranks second after West Bengal where a large number of missing children remains untraced as per the National Crime Records Bureau.
Replying to a question in Rajya Sabha, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath said 1,882 children went missing in Odisha in 2009. Of them, 668 could be traced while 1,214 are still untraced.
In 2010, out of 2521 missing children, 1,177 were found while 1344 remained untraced. In subsequent year, 2,176 went missing and only 387 could be traced while rest 1,789 remain untraced.
In response to a writ petition on missing children all over the country, the Supreme Court has passed two interim orders. The Court has made recording of first information report (FIR) with regard to missing children mandatory and directed formation of special juvenile police units in the States in accordance with the provisions of Section 63 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act.
The Women and Child Development Ministry is implementing a pilot project ‘Track Child’ in the country, which is aimed at maintaining the data of all children availing rehabilitation services under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS).
The software also provides for a national portal containing details of missing children reported in police stations. The portal would facilitate matching of the children availing services under the scheme with the reported missing children.
Ministry of Home Affairs has also issued advisories in January, 2012 and October, 2012 to all the State Governments/Union Territory administrations on measures needed to prevent trafficking and trace the children.
In letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Rajya Sabha member Pyarimohan Mohapatra said the discredit for the high percentage of missing children remaining untraced goes to Odisha. “You will kindly agree that it is a disgraceful state of affairs,” he said.
Pyarimohan wanted to know what steps are being taken by the Home Department and the Women and Child Development Department for tracing these hapless children.