Hyderabad: Indian Railways, as one of the largest network in the world, carry 25 millions of passengers each day and railway stations are the places for mass mobility and one of the focal points to travel in all directions of the country.
Because of its easy access and mobilization, generally runaway children, child labour, orphans and child trafficking gangs reach major railway stations to escape further.
Keeping the same in view special emphasis has been given by Security Wing of South Central Railway to counter this aspect impacting the minors.
Accordingly, Child Help Desk has been set up at major stations of SCR like Secunderabad, Kacheguda, Tirupati, Vijayawada, Hyderabad and Nanded.
These Help Desks are set up by Railway Protection Force (RPF)/ Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel and also voluntary Non Governmental Organization.
The main purpose of the Help Desk is to keep a vigil at Railway stations, coordinate with the concerned departments and provide immediate care and support to lonely children identified at stations. They also assist people who refer or want to share information about any lost and found child, apart from creating awareness in public.
Secunderabad Division is one of the major and important divisions of SCR consisting of crowded stations like Secunderabad, Hyderabad and Warangal etc. Next, Vijayawada, Kacheguda, Guntur, Tirupati, Guntakal, Nanded stations of other divisions too witness huge rail passengers requiring extra attention of security wing.
During the last 3 financial years, around 2,940 children (2252 boys and 688 girls) were rescued at various stations that fall under South Central Railway jurisdiction. The children rescued include runaway children, child labor and orphans etc.
In addition, 84 children who were bought to the stations for trafficking were rescued, and cases registered against the offenders.
CCTV cameras installed at the railway stations come as a big help to Railway Protection Force & GRP personnel to keep a close watch on lonely children and also other anti social elements.
Security Wing of railways keep a vigilant eye to prevent trafficking in women and children and take appropriate action to rehabilitate destitute children found in Railway areas and thus ensure the safety and security besides boosting the confidence of the travelling public.
Gajanan Mallya, GM, SCR is regularly monitoring the security situation at station and in trains during coordination meeting with Divisions and Principal Heads of various departments including the Security wing.
He has laid emphasis towards keeping a close watch on the anti social elements at stations/trains and to strengthen security. (INN)