Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 2
A total of 423 persons went missing from the city this year of whom close to 42 per cent were minors. Only 148 missing persons could be traced by the police.
According to police records, of the 423 persons who went missing till November 18 this year, 176 were minor boys and girls, while 247 were adults.
Among the minors, 114 were girls, while 62 were boys. A total of 71 minors — 42 girls and 29 boys — have been traced so far by the police. The remaining 77 persons traced were adults.
Police officials said in a majority of the incidents of minors going missing, the children ran away from home as either they did not want to go to school or they eloped.
The major chunk of children who went missing were from suburban areas and colonies, who studied in government schools.
Prof Rajesh Gill of the Sociology Department, Panjab University, says schoolteachers have a large role to play in addition to teaching. “Teachers have a much stronger influence on children as they are detached with parents, who are busy earning a livelihood. The teachers need to guide the students and make sure they take the right path,” Professor Gill said.
Professor Gill said the government also had a role to play to ensure a better and bright future for the children studying in the government schools. “The state should not show apathy towards the government sector. Good quality teachers should be recruited, who are efficient enough to mould the future of students,” she said.
RK Garg, president, Second Innings Association, said the police also needed to take such cases seriously. “Although a kidnapping case is registered by the police when a minor goes missing, investigating officers do not take it seriously if a minor has run away,” he said.
He said the police should also strengthen their network with neighbouring states so that the missing children could be traced.
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