Based on police records, 2016 has the lowest recovery percentage of reported missing children in Bengaluru, India, compared to previous years.
During the first quarter of this year, out of 184 missing kids all below 18 years old, 85 were traced—that’s only 46 percent of the whole number. In 2014, 90 percent of the missing children were found; while in 2015, 67 percent of lost children were successfully traced.
The Use of Social Media
The police have turned to social media in hopes of tracing or getting information about the missing kids. But their move yielded no positive result. Though there’s not much change to the number of missing children every year in the past three years, the success rate of finding the lost kids is decreasing significantly year after year.
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The Numbers and Statistics
In 2014, out of 5,606 missing persons, 634 of them are yet to be found. In 2015, of the 5,722 missing individuals, 2,366 remained lost.
According to Bengaluru police, the numbers are unprecedented. Child activist Nagasimha G Rao says that the actual number could be higher than the official report. There are many cases that were not reported due to social stigma on police. Rao added that many children are victims of trafficking, forced into hard labor or worse prostitution.
Juvenile Justice Act is supposed to protect children against child labor, but its claw has yet to be felt as employers find ways to circumvent it. To raise awareness, Rao recommends to Child Welfare and Protection Committees to conduct regular raids. He said that many children voluntarily leave their homes to earn money for the family but unknowingly end up being exploited by unethical companies and individuals.
The Missing Adults
In the case of missing adults, about 80 percent of them are 60 years old and above and 40 percent of them have dementia.
Many adults that were reported missing were later found in the streets begging. Turned out, they runaway from home because of their not so good relationship with their children or other family members.
Elderly suffering from dementia have the tendency to wander around and forget their way back to their homes. There are many ways to avoid this problem. According to an elders helpline worker, family members can slip small piece of paper containing home address and contact number to the senior’s pockets or stitch it to the label of their clothes.
Another way is to let them wear a GPS tracking device like Trackimo. It’s a small device that is designed to track the movement of the elderly and children for their safety. It can be attached to the belt or a special band and wear it. The family member can monitor the user’s real-time location through their smartphone or computer. The device will send an alarm if the wearer leaves the safe zone, an area you can define on the map.