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Child theft on the rise in Meghalaya

Posted in May 2012

Thomas Lim

The recent case of ten months old boy kidnapped by the suspected Child lifter, is yet another loud slap on the state government, recently National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) have criticized Meghalaya government  for the “inordinate delay” in sending child labour reports for which the Commission had earlier asked from them.
The Commission had in November last year slapped a notice to the state government to make arrangements for mapping of schools in Jaintia Hills district besides giving the state government a three-month deadline for implementing the necessary arrangements.
The Commission however failed to notice that there are huge numbers of children who are school dropouts, either being employed as vendors for cigarette and betel nut or bookmark and posters. Most of them come from either ‘single parent’ or ‘alcoholic parents’ background, for survival many takes up pick pocketing as easy means of earning, sniffing dendrite and other intoxicating substances have become the lifestyle, and many are being sexually abused.
The children belonging to Below Poverty Line are exposed to all such prey, the ten months old son of Talif Ali from Lower Paltan Bazar, suspected to have been kidnapped by  a lady known as “Paharri “ while the child was asleep in the house. The victimized father has alleged that the accused had earlier offer him cash of one lakh rupees and a car in exchange of the child, on being refused, she is suspected to have kidnapped the infant.
Ali has filed an FIR, the police department had flashed out the missing reports to all the police stations.
Such action was never common in this part of the world, the society have deteriorated so much to witness such crime. The others termed it as depleting economic condition in the state had forced parents to trade with their own child, worst so; such child lifter existing in the society! 
NCPCR during its three day stay in Meghalaya and after meeting the members of various civil societies termed the matter of child soldiers being used by militant outfits in Meghalaya and Manipur as ‘serious’.  The Commission also observed the cases of child trafficking is adversely affecting the region.  The Commission members said it should be ensured that no children were employed in mines in the state and stressed on the need to focus more on labor, mining and education.
There is no mentioned about the increasing rise of child theft or selling of the child in order to feed the parents and other family members. This is extremely serious when it comes to lifting other’s child to trade. It is also an open book, such child lifters will also indulge in flesh-trade.
The police department in particular, state government in general must bulldoze down such network which are spreading its tentacles to the village areas also. In the name of domestic helper job, most of the young girls is learned to have fallen trap to such invader.  
Yes the elite society considers this as reflection of poverty, but what about the children of the so called elite society? Who have been pampered with latest gadgets, hefty pocket money, the parents do not even take an account on how they spent them. It is only because the parents are too busy with their careers and business, such children seek affection in the similar manner like the other children that is, sniffing of various intoxicating substances, drinking and smoking have become a status, and not to talk of such children is considered Low Standard, if they do not carry a packet of condom with them, or are still a virgin among the peers.
Children are the mirror of the society, the nation is trying to protect the Child’s rights, while here in our society, and we have exposed the children to the vultures of all evils. While a section of social workers said, they are happy that the children and the youths do use condoms, but what about the morality of the children and the youth, do the society cares?
On the contrary the parents from Below Poverty Line are too busy trying to keep their both ends meet, have no time to take care of the children welfare, and additional income is always a bonus for the family. The elite parents are too busy with their own ambitions left the children to the care of educational institution or religious institutions. The government is too busy to take care of such children.
The life style and attitude of the children should be the concerned of all section of the society. The social welfare department needs to strengthen its policy for Child’s Right and implement them; the social workers for the section of the society too need to adopt new methods to deal with such children, who are becoming more and more aggressive. Every educational institution must appoint a counselor to help the child grow better. Most of all the state government too should issue a notification prohibiting the employment of children.
NCPCR must be more proactive towards rehabilitation of children, insist on having councilor in educational institution, and also government aided one for such poor children.


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