Guwahati, September 1 (Agencies): Guwahati is a hub of child trafficking; The number of cases registered in the city against trafficking of children reflects only a small percentage of the total cases.
Officials say that Guwahati is fast becoming a “source centre” for trafficking children to other states of the Northeast as well as places like Haryana, Delhi, Punjab and Kolkata. Guwahati’s importance as a railway hub has increased over the past few years with the government expanding the network and aiming to connect more places in the Northeast.
The Ministry of Railways, considering the rising number of cases of child trafficking in the region, has recommended setting up of “short stay shelters” and “child help desks” to house vulnerable children, in and around the railway tracks and platforms.
The proposed project is in a very nascent stage right now. According to officials at the Northeast Frontier Railways (NRF), the pace where the shelter homes would be built is yet to be finalized. It could be within the premises of the Guwahati Railway Station or maybe a quarter in the vicinity.
Each shelter would be 2,000 sq feet and will accommodate up to 25 children. It will provide immediate relief to the child through basic services such as nutrition, psycho-social support, and medical aid in accordance with the Juvenile Justice Act and the POCSO (Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences) Act.