Child labour is such a practice which would deprive the kids of their essential childhood. Making them work for gaining economic benefits will be damaging to their mental and physical growth. The lack of proper awareness and the widespread existence of informal economy is the cause for Child Labour. But, this also has another angle, where estranged kids are kidnapped and are forcefully engaged in such activities.
In a fight against such estranged and helpless kids, Hyderabad Police have taken up an initiative named ‘Operation Smile’ to rescue such victimised kids. About 325 children were rescued and sent back to their homes safely. Hyderabad’s Commissioner of Police Anjani Kumar led the initiative.
The Operation Smile has started on January 1st of 2019, where the police have started to trace the missing children. They have started their way from the parents and the missing reports they have filed. Tracing these kids they have found out that they were kids who are from other states like, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and even Nepal.
Police have marked and found out 200 such hotspots in the city where these child labours are most likely to be found. They have even filed 14 major cases on the people who are engaged in having children as labourers. Some of the children who went missing were also involved in begging and were trapped in the vicious whirl.
Talking to the press the officials who were involved in the Operation Smile say, “The rescued children were found working in different types of establishments/factories, engaged in making bags, bangles, biscuits, bakery, electrical items, mechanic shops, computer work, fabrications, welding shops, tiffin centres etc”.
” Further, a fine amount of Rs 6,75,365 was imposed on the said establishments for various violations”, say the officials. Talking about their approach they say, “We first observe the children for 2-3 days and then approach them to gain information”.
“The Darpan Face Recognition app was also used in identifying missing children, which tallies them with the information in the database”, says Additional Commissioner of Police, Crimes and SIT, Ms Shikha Goel.