RPF rescues over 30 children per day from railway premises
The Railway Protection Force (RPF) has rescued more than 30 children per day between January 2017 and August 2018, compared to less than 20 a day in three immediate years before 2017. While over 20,000 children have been rescued by RPF in 20 months beginning January 2017, a similar number of such children were sent home in three years - 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Children rescued between 2014 to 2018
As far as year-wise numbers are concerned, 11,178 children were rescued in 2017 while 8,963 children have been sent home in 2018 (till August). In 2014, 5,294 children were rescued; in the following year, RPF rescued 7,044 children while in 2016, 8,593 children were rescued.
RPF started extensive sensitization programs for its staffers
"We are taking a more proactive role in identifying children in need of protection at railway premises and sending them home before they get into crime," Inspector General, RPF, Jaya Singh Chauhan said. Chauhan also said the RPF has started extensive sensitization programs for its staffers, especially the female workforce, on how to deal with such vulnerable children "especially if they are minors".
41,072 children have been rescued since 2014 till August 2018
In five years since 2014 (till Aug;18), 41,072 children have been rescued. While 31,799 of those rescued were boys, 9,273 were girls. Of them, 1,812 children were trafficked, six were drug addicts, 460 were destitute, 286 were abducted, 3309 were left behind, 4,357 were missing, 334 were found medically unfit, 131 fell down from trains, 193 were mentally ill, and 8,944 were street children.
RPF's lessons to spot a vulnerable child
RPF gives lessons to women staffers on spotting a vulnerable child. "If child is too consistent in his/her replies or too repetitive. If their answers are limited. If they've peculiar marks on their bodies and an attempt has been made to hide them, then it should evoke suspicion. That is what our staffers need to spot," said Renu Chibber, DIG, Recruitment and Training, RPF.
RPF plans to recruit 4,500 more women personnel
The RPF, which currently has 2,500 women personnel, is planning to recruit 4,500 more, taking their strength in the force to 9%. "We are planning to take the number up to 10% soon. We are deploying them much more to escort trains, to deal with children. They will be the sensitive face of the force, but quick to take action," said Inspector General Chauhan.