14 kids go missing in city each day

On an average, 14 children are reported missing every day in Delhi, according to data maintained by Delhi Legal Services Authority (DLSA). The DLSA says most of these children leave home of their own accord. According to data available with the Delhi Police, only 3 per cent of these missing children are either kidnapped or abducted with criminal intention.

Police said most children leave home due to increased academic pressure or strained relations with parents or siblings.

According to the data, which was collected between April 2011 and August 2012, 38 per cent of missing children left home without giving parents any reason, 21 per cent left because they were scolded by parents, 17 per cent "lost their way", 8 per cent were cases of elopement, 7 per cent left home due to increased academic pressure by parents, 4 per cent were found to have gone to their relatives' homes without informing their parents, 3 per cent were kidnapped and 2 per cent cases were of mentally unsound children.

In order to curb the trend, the police have taken an initiative under the programme Bacchon Ki Phulwari with the help of NGOs, to provide a safe environment for children of working mothers and to protect them from abuse. The initiative aims to boost the self-confidence of children who run away from home.

In 2012, a total of 3,675 cases of kidnapping were registered, against 3,529 cases in 2011. According to the police, most cases of missing children and kidnapping were reported from the poor sections of the society, where parents did not have children's photographs.

"A photograph of the child is required for proper investigation. Police launched a scheme, Pehchaan, in which a family photograph is taken. This is to make sure that if a child is reported missing, his/her photo is available. As many as 64,055 children have been given photos under this scheme," Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar said.

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