Operation Muskan to rescue child beggars from Bengaluru streets

Ten NGOs, along with government agencies like CWC, have been roped in for ‘Muskan’

BENGALURU: Felt tugged by a sad faced child begging for a few rupees at traffic signals, but also felt guilty at giving alms, which could land in the hands of their handlers? You can be of help now and be part of an initiative by the Bangalore police to end beggary in the city.

In an initiative to save children from beggary, the police are launching Operation 'Muskan' (Operation Smile), a project to rescue children and infants from the streets, where they are forced to beg. The operation will be launched in two weeks and will be headed by Additional Commissioner of Police (East) P. Harisekran, who is known for earlier similar community-based initiatives.

It is an inspiration from a central government-sponsored project to trace missing children and conduct checks at public places like bus stands, railway stations and shelter homes, where children could be left unsupervised, a senior police officer said.

Ten NGOs, along with government agencies like CWC, have been roped in for ‘Muskan’. “The operation will be launched in seven police jurisdictions and Mr Harisekran will be the nodal officer. Representatives of city NGOs are now being trained to carry out rescue operations, as they might have to deal with normal beggary and also full-fledged organised rackets. They will be taught how to judge individual cases, whether they require criminal proceedings or could be dealt with in any other way. Each division will have two NGOs, which will identify the spot, rescue children and send them to state-run homes,’ said DCP Southeast Rohini Katoch Sepat.

Using social media tools like Twitter and FaceBook the city police have appealed to the netizens to become eyes and ears of the police and share details of any suspicious men or women carrying children.

Mr Harisekran, on his Twitter handle, appealed to Bengalureans to join hands with the police in the operation. “Please join with ‘Operation Smile’, upload photos of infants & children in beggary & please mention the spot. This is our Bangalore City police initiative.” He met jurisdictional DCPs on Friday called to discuss the initiative.

This is not the first time that the police are launching a community initiative. The east division police, under Mr Harisekran, had carried out ‘Area domination’ exercises last year to prevent criminals from carrying out their activities.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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