South Western Railway rescues 1,100 children in 350 days

BENGALURU:Dedicated child rescue teams under ‘Operation Nanhe Farishte’ — launched by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) of the South Western Railway (SWR) — has rescued 1,100 children in the past 350 days, Security Commissioner of RPF, SWR, Debasmita Chattopadhyaya said on Monday.

Chattopadhyaya was addressing a gathering at a programme organised in association with International Justice Mission (IJM) to create awareness among passengers and to mark World Day Against Trafficking in Persons at KSR railway station here on Monday.

Often traffickers use trains to smuggle victims across states and RPF had conducted many rescue operations in the past to free the victims. “On this day, we encourage our passengers to inform RPF (helpline 182) about any suspicious movement of children or women at railway stations or about children who look scared or sick,” Chattopadhyaya made an appeal to passengers.

IGM Associate Director Prathima M said victims of trafficking are held in captivity in factories as bonded labourers or exploited in brothels. “Thus, the day is a good reminder that there are still millions of people whose liberty, dignity and essential humanity have been stolen from them,’’ Prathima said. IJM works in collaboration with the government to rehabilitate victims of bonded labour. Also, city-based Nemmadi staged street plays depicting human trafficking at both Bengaluru city and Yeswantpur railway stations.

65K bonded labourers in K’taka saved so far
According to data from Union Ministry of Labour and Employment, 65,000 bonded labourers have been rescued in Karnataka — the second largest in the country — from 1976 up to 2015 (as on
March 31)

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