In 2017, 6,450 children were reported missing, among whom 2,535 were boys and 3,919 girls.
In 2016, the total number was 6,921 while it was 7,928 in 2015.
Addressing the need to focus on the issue of missing children at an event organised here on Tuesday, District Commissioner of Police Joy Tirkey said the improvement in the participation of civil society is a good sign.
“We have to work more in tandem with Anti Human Trafficking Units (AHTU) as well as the communities and NGOs,” he said.
He said a facial recognition system, which is being launched, will prove more helpful in tracing the children.
Representatives of several NGOs at the event called for active participation of the community to create a safety net.
“While the police role is paramount, the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) suggests community-level preventive mechanism,” said Soha Moitra, Regional Director (North) of the NGO, Child Rights and You (CRY).
“…Taking cognizance of the enormity of the issue, ensuring inter and intra-state coordination in investigation, rescue and rehabilitative mechanism and investing in adequate resources and trained personnel at every level are the needs of the hour,” Moitra added.
Alliance for People’s Right (APR) convenor Reena Banerjee said by forming a strong security net around children, their safety can be ascertained to a large extent.
“There has been close to nil incident of a child reported missing over the past two years within those communities that have formed vigilance groups.
“In a couple of instances, where a child was found to be missing, the vigilance groups were able to take immediate action to notify the authorities which ensured early recovery of the child,” she said.