New Delhi: More than 70,000 missing children have been rescued in different parts of the country under the home ministry’s special initiative, Union minister Rajnath Singh said Tuesday.
Addressing a seminar on child and adolescent labour here, the home minister also said the country would try to get rid of child labour by 2022.
“The Home Ministry has launched ‘Operation Smile’ to locate missing children. More than 70,000 missing children have been rescued till date,” he said.
The ‘Operation Smile’ was first launched by the home ministry in January 2015 to rescue and rehabilitate the missing children. Since then the programme has been continuing with the active help of the state governments.
Singh said childhood is the best gift of God, but those who get trapped in child labour are deprived of that beautiful gift.
“We are committed for a child labour free India. In the next 5 years we will try to get rid of child labour. Let us together pledge for building a child labour free India by 2022,” he said at the seminar where a web portal named PENCIL, which connects all stakeholders working to check child labour, was launched.
The ‘PENCIL’ will help in effective implementation of National Child Labour Project (NCLP).
PENCIL (Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labour) is an electronic platform for no child labour developed by the labour ministry.
PENCIL portal has five components — child tracking system, complaint corner, state government, national child labour project and convergence. PTI