Child traffickers become active, add to Bihar’s misery

September 2nd, 2008 - 10:54 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 2 (IANS) Even as hapless victims of the Kosi river’s fury struggle to stay alive in the flood-hit areas of Bihar, another serious problem seems to be spreading its tentacles, this time around the children. Taking advantage of the vulnerable situation, middlemen have started trafficking children out of the state to metro cities.A team of volunteers of the Bachpan Bachao Aandolan (BBA), an NGO working on the issue of child rights, this week rescued six children who were being lured away by two men at the Katihar railway station in Bihar.

“The BBA has its volunteers all across the country. While helping out the victims of the flood in Bihar, some volunteers noticed that many children were roaming around at the railway station with just one or two men, which they found was very suspicious,” Kailash Satyarthi of the BBA told IANS.

“On enquiring, the volunteers found these men were not relatives of the children and were taking them to Kolkata to make them work in roadside eateries and dhabas,” Satyarthi said.

“While those children were rescued, there are hundreds of other kids being trafficked by people who are taking advantage of the vulnerable situation there,” he said.

The BBA has now written to universities, like Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Patna University for volunteers, who, along with BBA’s members, can keep vigilance at the bus and railway stations of Bihar as well as metros like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, where the kids are taken to.

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

“We have also contacted Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s office with regard to the issue. Although they have quite rightly said that at the moment saving people’s lives and providing relief packages, this is an equally alarming issue,” he said.

“We have therefore urged the railway officials to keep an eye on bunches of kids travelling with just one or two men because in all possibility they are being trafficked,” Satyarthi said.

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