Missing and runaway children

Delay in the rescue, care and protection of missing and runaway children reduces their chances of rehabilitation. The aim of this intervention is to ensure the safety of children, and to develop a replicable model of institutional care.

The Tata Trusts support organisations that rescue and restore runaway and missing children, in collaboration with the Indian Railways. The project also focuses on developing resource material on the outreach and rescue of children, their care, counselling and restoration, as well as shelter-management.

Key highlights
  • Facilitating the rescue of 4,000 children from railway stations.
  • Rescuing and restoration of 1,500 children in six months from Delhi, Varanasi and Vishakhapatnam. Around 85% of those rescued were restored to their homes, and the remaining 15% were referred to suitable institutions.
  • Adoption of the Trusts-supported outreach model by the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) along with the announcement of a Child Helpline for runaway children across 80 railway stations.
Future plans
  • Support projects across Maharashtra, West Bengal, Delhi, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh that focus on the care, protection and family reintegration of abandoned and orphaned children living on railway platforms and streets.
  • Development of resource materials, studies and publications — for example, handbooks/training manuals on the outreach and rescue of children from railway platforms; the care, counselling and restoration of runaway children; shelter management.
  • Technical support and capacity-building of government institutions and child care institutions to address issue of missing and runaway children.

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