Parents of missing children protest against politicians’ apathy

April 24th, 2009 - 5:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Pratibha Patil New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) Hundreds of parents whose children have been missing for years held a protest against the apathy of politicians here Friday to highlight the issue ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
Under the aegis of the Bachpan Bachao Andolan, the parents gathered at the Jantar Mantar in the heart of the capital, chanting slogans and carrying placards that read “Give us justice and you get our vote”, “Vote for people who save children” and “Get back the missing children”.

“It has been an year since my three-year-old son is missing. I lodged a complaint on April 25, 2008, just one day after he was kidnapped. The police hasn’t done anything about it, not even put up any advertisements or handbills informing the public about it,” said Sugandi Devi.

Her son Deepak went missing while playing outside his home.

“I am not voting in this election because everyone has failed to help me in locating my son Kamal Kant. He went missing on Jan 17, 2009. There has been no news of his whereabouts. It is tough for me to search for my son and at the same time earn a living,” said another aggrieved mother Chandra Kant.

According to Kailash Satyarthi, founder of the Bachpan Bachao Andolan, as many as six children go missing everyday in the capital.

“Politicians talk about Hindus and Muslims. What about those whose main concern is not religion but their own child? Almost six children in Delhi go missing everyday and yet most Lok Sabha candidates don’t have a single word to say on the issue,” Satyarthi said.

According to a report by the Bachpan Bachao Andolan published in 2007, traffickers are selling children in India for amounts that are often lower than the cost of animals and most of them end up working as labourers or commercial sex workers.

The parents also submitted a memorandum to President Pratibha Patil, putting across their grievances.

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