Found at railway station but lost in translation

Found at railway station but lost in translation

Submitted by alvin on Wed, 2016-05-25 09:25 Bengaluru: In 2015, 17-year-old Mina (name changed) was saved from joining a brothel in Bengaluru in the nick of time. Rescued by the Child Rights Trust, she was handed over to Women and Child Welfare Department.While she was saved from the brutalities of brothel life, there arose another, unexpected problem: she could not communicate with the local counsellors in Bengaluru. No one was able to understand the language she spoke.Initially, department officials thought that Mina hailed from Bangladesh or some part of Northeast India. But later and to everyone’s astonishment, it was discovered that she from Tashkent in Uzbekistan. Curious about India, Mina had arrived in the country as a tourist in 2015. While visiting one of India’s most famous tourist attractions, the Taj Mahal, Mina became a victim of the evil of human trafficking.After a painful and nightmarish ordeal, Mina somehow reached Bengaluru, where she was saved by activists. Activists say that there are many more Minas out there, and not all of them see a happy ending.According to child helpline volunteers, Bengaluru city railway station alone receives 30 runaway children every day while according to a survey by the Child Rights Trust, Bengaluru receives an average of 150 children at its railway stations, bus stands and market places, where trucks arrive with goods from neighbouring states, every day.Since Bengaluru is a last major station for trains, buses and goods trucks, many children end up in the city. But only a few are rescued, say activists, as the recurring problem of communicating with children keeps volunteers away. And those who are rescued remain in a no man’s land since their home states do not come forward to take back the children, forcing the Child and Women Welfare Department to remain silent about it.In the year 2013, as many as 1791 child missing cases were traced to Bengaluru city. In 2014, the missing cases peaked at 2588 while in 2015 the number of cases registered stood at 2073.“There are several issues involved while rescuing children. Whenever children from other states are rescued, the counsellor fails to communicate with the child. Even after the rescue, there is no proper channel to hand over the child back to the concerned state,” said, Nagasimha G Rao, Associate Director, Child Rights Trust.“The government must have a dialogue with local governments, railway department and introduce a child rights protection policy in every state same as a national policy. Right now there is no co-operation between the states and the department,” said Nagasimha.Even though the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) is aware of the problems, it has been accused of not taking any measures to solve these issues. “Linguistic barrier is a common issue while receiving a child from a foreign country or another state. We can deal with the language problem if the child is from neighbouring states as we have counsellors in Telugu, Malaylam, Tamil and other languages. We will look into such issues and see these issues are resolved soon,” said Kripa Alva, Chairperson, KSCPCR.