‘14 trafficked children rescued in flood hit Bihar’

September 10th, 2008 - 7:57 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 10 (IANS) At least 14 children have been rescued from the clutches of traffickers in the flood ravaged districts of Bihar - a disturbing sign that middlemen are taking advantage of the vulnerable situation of the hapless people.Kailash Satyarthi of the Bachpan Bacaho Aandolan (BBA), a child rights organisation, said because of the negligent attitude of the officials and lack of volunteers, the NGO has not been able to save all children from being trafficked.

Most of the children, rescued during last three days, were seen at the railway stations, where the traffickers board the trains along with a bunch of kids to metros such as Delhi, Kolkata, Punjab, Haryana and Mumbai.

“Our volunteers identified 35 children as being trafficked in the Saharsa railway station, one of the districts where the floods have wreaked havoc. However, because of lax attitude of the railway officials and lack of volunteers, 27 of them were still taken away. We could rescue only eight,” Satyarthi told IANS.

Similarly, in the Katihar railway station, the BBA volunteers rescued six children.

Darbhanga, Bhagalpur, Saharsa, Katihar, Supaul, Madhubani, Sitamarhi, Purnea, Kishanganj and Khagadia are some of the places in Bihar where children are trafficked from.

“Most of these children are in the age group of eight to 13 and they are being lured away on the pretext of a better life in the city when the reality is that they are being pushed into roadside eateries and dhabas once they set foot in the metros,” Satyarthi said.

“While we understand that the entire government administration and police are engaged in rescue and relief work, the scandal of child trafficking, which is also another disaster, is largely ignored,” he added.

For its part, the BBA has set up a 24-hour helpline number to gather information and take complaints on trafficking cases.

The state government and other local NGOs, along with BBA, have also organised awareness campaigns to curb this negative trend and warn people to be on their guard.

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