Imphal | June 8 : At least nineteen children from Tamenglong district of Manipur who had been trafficked to Maharastra in 2007 on the pretext of providing free education have on Tuesday been brought back to the state. The distraught children have today (Wednesday) been handed over to their respective parents and guardians in a poignant event.
Apparently some 25 children from Tamenglong district had been trafficked to Karjat district of Maharashtra in the pretext of providing free education in Detheaba Children Home. This comes close on the heels of the Supreme Court directive in 2010 that children below 12 years or those of primary school level should not be sent outside Manipur for pursuing education.
While nineteen children have been rescued and brought back to the state yesterday after four years of ‘enforced’ stay in the children home. The remaining six have been left behind at the Home because their parents and guardians have not lodged any complaint in this regard, said an official source today.
Six girls and thirteen boys between the age group of 8-13 have been handed over to their respective parents and guardians in a simple ceremony at Zaoziam Children Home in Tamenglong district after medical check up, said the source. Interestingly, all the nineteen rescued children belong to Mandeu village in Tousem sub-division of Tamenglong district in Manipur.
The mission to rescue the children was launched jointly be Child Welfare Committee (CWC), Tamenglong, Manipur state Social Welfare Department and Indigenous Women and Children Foundation (IWCF) following complaints from the children parents in an awareness campaign in the district sometimes back.
To have an idea of the gravity of the situation, a status report prepared by Coalition on Children’s Right to Protection (CCRP), Manipur and CRY stated: “During the period 2007 to January 2010, total reported cases of child trafficking as published in print media is 198. Out of which 57 cases are from Tamenglong, 25 from Senapati, 28 from Chandel, 1 from Imphal East, 6 from Imphal West, 28 from Bishnupur, 48 from unspecified areas and 6 from Churachandpur.”
According to the report, these are data available in the public domain, but “there are hundreds of boys and children getting trafficked without a trace.”
It may be recalled that on February 20, 2010, newspapers across the state ran a news report that 55 Manipuri kids were rescued from unlicensed homes in Tamil Nadu. And the same month 19 children including 10 girls were brought back to the State after they were rescued from the office complex of Reach Child Foundation, Chennai. Some young girls are even trafficked to Malaysia and Singapore and pushed into flesh trade in the pretext of providing job placements.
Acting on a landmark Supreme Court directive dated September 1, 2010, on child trafficking and exploitation, Government of Manipur through Social Welfare Commissioner had informed the general public of the State that children below 12 years or those of primary school level should not be sent outside Manipur for pursuing education.
Newmai News Network