The Railway Protection Force (RPF) has rescued more than 7,000 lost or abandoned children from trains and stations premises across the country in 2015.
“We are at the forefront of rescuing children lost or abandoned or victims of trafficking and abuse. A total of 7,044 children were rescued due to the efforts of RPF personnel in 2015,” a senior RPF official said today.
Besides, 890 children were rescued from railway premises in January this year.
The Railways Ministry, in collaboration with the Women and Child Development Ministry and National Commission on Protection of Child Rights, had issued a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on March 5, 2015, for better care and protection of children coming in contact with Railways personnel.
The SOP is being implemented at 20 nominated railway stations across the country including New Delhi, Old Delhi, Hazrat Nizamuddin, Anand Vihar, Mumbai Central, CST Mumbai, Howrah, Sealdah, New Jalpaiguri, Ranchi, Chennai Central, Chennai Egmore, Lucknow, Guwahati, Bangalore City, Patna, Varanasi, Secunderabad and Nagpur.
In a separate campaign called ‘Operation Smile-II’ launched by Home Ministry from January 1 to 31, 2016 was carried out at these station premises by RPF, in which 890 children were rescued.
Currently, RPF escorts about 1,600 trains to control crime and ensure security of passengers, especially women, children and the elderly.
According to RPF data, more than 20 lakh cases relating to anti-social elements were dealt by the force in 2015.
Training in soft and behavioural skills, human rights and gender sensitisation to RPF staff for better RPF-Passenger- Public interface is also in the process.