Local Goa News

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Many kids in Goa go missing for ‘love’

PANAJI: Though minors run away from homes due to reasons like family pressure and their difficult behaviour, the main reason for the minors fleeing their homes is love affairs.
Cases of missing children are registered as kidnapping cases and according to police, FIRs are registered following directives of the Supreme Court.

“Majority of such cases are owing to love affairs while there are also cases of family pressure, stubborn kids and so on,” said Emidio Pinho, coordinator, Victim Assistance Unit (VAU).
Victim Assistance Unit was constituted by the state government and it works in collaboration with the Goa police, especially in cases pertaining to minors.
“In the last three months, children (6 girls and 4 boys) were traced in ten different kidnapping cases registered with the police,” said Pinho.
Director, Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN)-Goa chapter, Audrey Pinto, says that there are also cases wherein minors from other states were traced in Goa. “There have been some incidents wherein children from other states were traced in Goa. They were on a kind of adventure trip and wanted to see places in Goa which featured in Bollywood movies and also tour Goa,” he said.
According to information provided in the state legislative assembly recently, there are 38 children, who are yet to be traced in Goa.
“The criterion for children going missing is not there. Such cases are registered as kidnapping cases, while in case of those above 18 years, the cases are registered as missing cases. All the cases traced are by the police,” said Pinho.
Statistics of the last 38 months reveals that Goa police has traced around 117 children. According to the statistics, from April 20, 2014, to December 2014, 44 minors were traced while 51 were traced in 2015. This year, around 22 children have been traced till date. “Police are doing a good job in tracing the children and they need to be commended for the work,” said Pinto.
In a recent case, a 16-year-old boy from North Goa left his home as he was of the impression that his father was not giving him enough pocket money as against his elder brother. Following a missing complaint, police registered an FIR and the boy was subsequently traced in Goa itself.
“Police played a good role by not only tracing the boy, but they also sorted out the issue. Now the parents teachers association of the school is contributing towards the pocket money for the boy,” Pinho said.
In another instance, a school girl was told by her friend that she had failed in her examination. “Out of fear, the student left home and was finally traced in Sawantwadi in Maharashtra state. The police there on suspicion questioned the girl and took her to the police station where she narrated the incident. In fact, she had scored excellent marks in the exam,” said Pinho.
In order to tackle such issues, Pinho says, “Families must give good time, quality time to their children and develop a good rapport with them.” According to Pinto, “Parents must stop pampering their children with gifts. Time should be devoted to speak to them and identify and understand their problems. Be a friend to them because when children are frightened, they think of running away.”

NT Network Goa News

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