Railway stations is the ideal go-to place when one’s looking to run away from home. Those walls have seen kids getting lost and kidnapped. Those tracks have heard wails of children left abandoned or forcefully taken away for reasons that aren’t considered lawful. The next thing you know, they become untraceable.
7,044 kids in 2015 were fortunate enough to be rescued. All thanks to our Railway Protection Force (RPF). According to a report in Business Standard, a senior RPF officer said, “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.”
On March 5, 2015 in alliance with the Women and Child Development Ministry and National Commission on Protection of Child Rights, the Railway Ministry had issued a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for better care and protection of children coming in contact with Railways personnel.
The SOP is currently 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.
At present 1,600 trains are being tended by the RPF to curb crimes, and to guarantee the security of passengers, especially women, children and senior citizens. They are also trained in soft and behavioural skills, human rights and gender sensitisation to improve the RPF-Passenger- Public interface.
Another campaign was launched by the Home Ministry this year which ran from January 1 to January 31. This campaign named ‘Operatio Smile-ll’ was carried out by the RPF at the above mentioned stations and 890 children were rescued under that.
Now, that’s a brilliant initiative, and we hope to see more of such amazing work by the Railway protection force.