Rehan Qayoom Mir
Srinagar, Oct 5: Continuing its drive against child beggars in Srinagar, the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) Srinagar conducted surprise raids in Karan Nagar area of the city and rescued 11 children.
The special drive by CWC continued for the second day today and a total of 25 children have been rescued in 25 years. “We have received multiple complaints from different parts of Srinagar and at this point, we cannot disclose the locations, as the drive will continue in the coming days as well, and we have identified many spots in different areas of Srinagar,” said the head of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) for Srinagar, Dr. Khair-un-Nisa said.
She said that on Wednesday 14 children including four girls (all of them minors), and they have been sent to the shelter homes of CWC. “Once we take the child with us, their parents or legal guardians reach out to us, and after legal formalities and counseling, we follow up with the procedure. For those children who don’t have parents or legal guardians, we become their custodians, and we take care of their schooling under other schemes provided by the central government,” said Dr Nisa.
When asked about mostly outsiders being involved in begging and child labour, Dr. Nisa said, “For us, a child is a child, whether they are locals or non-locals. Once we receive information about child labour or begging, we visit the spot and rescue the child. Every child has its rights, and we have to safeguard them,” said Dr. Nisa while adding that this stage of a child is the golden age and needs to be optimized for schooling and building a career.
She further said that, “for the general public, if anybody wants to raise a complaint about child labour, child trafficking, or child begging, they can reach our office at Bemina, Srinagar, contact us through social media platforms, or call us on our toll-free number: 1098
To a query that police and security officials accompanying them may scare the child, Dr. Nisa said: “The police protection is for our assistance, and the public is supporting us, with a very positive response. Once we come to rescue, we need a police party along with us because if the child doesn’t want to come with you, that’s when the role of the police comes in, and the complaints about child labour and child trafficking are coming from the public.”
Explaining about the drive, Dr Nisa said: “When the drive in a selected area is started, they, along with the labour department and police officials, conduct the operation and rehabilitate the children involved in begging, child labour, and child trafficking. The police officers accompany us to ensure the rescued children so that they can be safely handed over to our shelters.”