India-- 11 children go missing every hour

Collection with 11 media items created by Bijoyeta Das

27 Nov 2013 13:39

He almost ran after her. He followed her through the alleys of East Delhi, stopping as she stopped, angling to catch a glimpse of her face. “Maybe it is my lost daughter,” Azhar Mohammad recalls thinking when he saw the teenage girl, her hair braided and two red ribbons tied.
“There is no closure,” he says wiping tears. His daughter has been missing for five years. He remembers every detail of that day when she did not come home from school. The family searched every corner of the government school, hoping she was locked in a toilet. They met all her friends and asked a thousand questions, he says. Mohammad’s oldest son selected the best photograph of Gudiya from their battered family album and made 125 copies.
“The police said she ran away. But where will an 11 year old, cheerful girl go?” he asks, He says his hair grayed in a week, the fateful week when the family spent all their savings to look for Gudiya. No news came that night. Nor later. Even after five years, Mohammad still believes his daughter will come home someday. “Till then all I pray is wherever she is, she should be happy and well taken care of.”
Mohammad is not alone. In India eleven children go missing every hour and seven are never found.
Often children rescued in one state could be missing in another. But there is no centralized database to connect them.

India Indian Society New Delhi Delhi Eastern Delhi Children Asia Southeast Asia Human Interest Daughter School Kidnapping Kidnapped Kidnappings Governmental... Government S... Family Police Missing Chil... Indian Girl Child Victims Child Victim

Thumb sm
Das 10
Delhi
By Bijoyeta Das
13 May 2012

May 5, 2012
Delhi, India

“Can there be a greater fear than that of losing a child?” asks Rama, a mother of three.

Thumb sm
Das 9
By Bijoyeta Das
18 May 2012

May 18, 2012
Delhi, India

Arjun with his mother. He was chained and forced to work in a farm for two years. His mother says she never gave up hope of finding him.

Thumb sm
Das 8
By Bijoyeta Das
12 May 2012

May 12, 2012
Delhi, India

Gudiya's brother is holding the photos of his sister that his family and him distribute to their relatives, families, friends, strangers, and non-profit organizations in the hope of finding the young girl.

Thumb sm
Das 7
Delhi
By Bijoyeta Das
13 May 2012

May 13, 2012
Delhi, India

Child rights groups collaborate with police to raid commercial enterprises that employ children illegally.

Thumb sm
Das 6
Delhi
By Bijoyeta Das
26 Apr 2012

April 26, 2012
Delhi, India

Children who are separated from their parents, or rescued from brothels and child labor camps, are kept in various shelters. Though they are transitional housing, many never go back home because they cannot remember their addresses or personal details, or because their parents lived in slums and then migrated.

Thumb sm
Das 5
Delhi
By Bijoyeta Das
27 Nov 2013

November 27, 2013
Delhi, India

A rescued child. On May 14, the New Delhi police raided a garage that was employing children. Often children who run away from homes are forced to work illegally in small factories and industries. A local non-governmental organization tipped the police off about the garage.

Thumb sm
Das 4
Delhi
By Bijoyeta Das
14 May 2012

May 14, 2012
Delhi, India

Often families of missing children hold onto things that belonged to their children. They are mementos of a lost happiness.

Thumb sm
Das 3
By Bijoyeta Das
27 Nov 2013

November 27, 2013
Delhi, India

A father showing the photo of his missing son and a box in which he collects money so that he can travel around India looking for him.

Thumb sm
Das 2
Delhi
By Bijoyeta Das
27 Nov 2013

November 27, 2013
Delhi, India

Pinky, 16, was rescued from the house of a middle class family in New Delhi where she was forcefully kept as a domestic servant. She came to Delhi from her village in eastern India to seek employment with a placement agency. The agency sold her to the family, where she worked for four years without pay and she was not allowed to contact her family. “I am lucky I was not sold into a brothel,” Pinky said.

Thumb sm
Das 1
Delhi
By Bijoyeta Das
14 May 2012

May 14, 2012
Delhi, India

What happens to memories? Is the children's absence a constant reminder of loss?

Thumb sm
Das 11
Delhi
By Bijoyeta Das
28 May 2012

Azhar Mohammad is still searching for his missing daughter Gudiya. He often visits religious seers, healers and astrologers hoping to find answers and closure.