212 missing kids ‘reunited with parents’The National Centre for Children at Risk, a body functioning under the Central Child Welfare Board (CCWB), in coordination with the Nepal Police has rescued 212 children out of 283 missing children from around Kathmandu Valley on the basis of missing reports from parents and relatives.
The National Centre for Children at Risk, a body functioning under the Central Child Welfare Board (CCWB), in coordination with the Nepal Police has rescued 212 children out of 283 missing children from around Kathmandu Valley on the basis of missing reports from parents and relatives.
According to the centre’s data for the fiscal year 2016-17, 290 children were found stranded in the streets either by police or by the centre’s field agents.
Out of them, 174 have been reunited with their families, 106 are under protection of child care homes, while 10 others ran away from the protection homes. Seventy-one children are still missing.
In the fiscal year 2015-16, 195 children were rescued out of 240 reported missing and 240 students, out of 348 found stranded in the streets, were reunited with the families. Among them, 94 were sent to child care homes and 14 children escaped protection homes.
The rescued children are sheltered for a few days at the National Centre for Children at Risk office while the staff look for their parents and addresses.
If the centre is unable to reunite the children with their parents, they are sent to child protection homes for psycho-social counselling, their schooling and to meet up their basic needs. However, the search for their families continues at the centre.
“Sometimes the children are found after two-three days in their locality or their relatives’ or friends’ but the parents who file a missing complaint on our helpline number do not inform us about their findings,” said Santosh Chandra Adhikari, programme officer at the centre. “We continue search for those children throughout the year.”
Those children who run away from home are often found providing fake addresses and pseudo names, according to the centre. They are not open about their parents and the reason behind their escape.
Kiran Dharel (name changed), who was rescued by one of the centre’s staffers, was found faking his address as Gorkha while he actually hailed from Dhading.
A team from the centre travelled to Gorkha to find his home and parents, but they were taken aback when the boy finally spoke the truth. “Children who deliberately run away from their home try to escape from the protection homes as well,” said Balkrishna Dhungel, acting director of the National Children’s Organization (Bal Mandir).
Bal Mandir is one of the organisations that works as a protection home for the rescued children. Organisations such as Child NGO Federation-Nepal, Child Protection Centre and Services, Conflict Victim and Disabled Society are also helping the rescued children with shelter and other facilities and the children with mental disabilities are sent to the respective organisations that take care of mentally ill children.
“We find sponsors to provide better education for the rescued children, provide enough guidance and counselling from the experts” said Dhungel.