IMPHAL, November 26: The reception of 36 children from the state who were rescued from Bangaluru was held this evening at a function which was attended by Minister of Social Welfare Ak Mirabai, Naoriya Pakhanglakpa MLA RK Anand, principal secretary Varun Mitra, director of Social Welfare, N Rupachandra and joint secretary N Rupachandra.
An official while giving a brief report on how the children were rescued said, on September 2 last, the Child Welfare Committee officials from Bangaluru informed them about the news that some children from Manipur were rescued in a drive conducted by a local CWC team and Bangaluru Police. After failing to receive a reply to its request for a detailed report on the incident, a state team went to the South Indian city and met the children originally lodged at Mission Centre and Grace Home located at the city, he said.
After necessary verification of the children and completing the official process, they were brought back to Imphal this morning with the help of security provided by the state home department, he stated.
Mitra said the participation of civil society organizations, to complement the efforts of the state government and the concerned department, is crucial in checking child trafficking to other states on the pretext of providing of better education and employment for the innocent children, he said.
Minister Mirabai said around 300 children from the state have been brought back from various parts of the country since 2008 and identified child trafficking as a major problem being encountered by the state. Most of the unfortunate victims hailed from remote parts of hill districts, particularly Ukhrul, she said. Out of the 36 children, 11 were from Ukhrul district, 15 from Senapati, two from Bishnupur and eight from Churachandpur, she informed.
She announced that all the children will be handed over to the CWC at their respective district head quarters for their rehabilitation. They will be given free education and proper medical examinations will be done to ascertain their health conditions, she added.
She appealed to the general public to be observant of persons who entice innocent children to follow them outside Manipur by sowing hopes of good education and employment. They must make it mandatory to check the real identities of the recruiters and whether the institutions have gained recognition from the respective state governments, she said.
As part of its preparation for prevention of child trafficking, the department is working to fill up the vacant posts at State Protection of Child Rights and ICDS.
Mirabai apologized on behalf of her department to journalists for the misbehavior by officials of Takyel Observation Centre who tried to manhandle them when they arrived there in the morning to collect news about the 36 children rescued from children homes in Bangaluru, Karnataka. The minister, while speaking during the reception function later in the evening, said the unceremonious treatment meted out to the media persons will not be repeated and she will give stern instructions to the concerned officials in this regards.