The Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi and Union Minister of Communication & IT, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad jointly launched the Khoya Paya web portal at a function organised at National Media Centre in New Delhi today. The Khoya Paya portal is a citizen based website to exchange information on missing and found children. It has been developed by the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY).
Speaking on the occasion, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi said that Khoya Paya portal is a completely unique idea and it originated from the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi.
She said that we have another portal also named ‘Track Child’ that belongs to the Ministry of Home Affairs, but in that portal only police communicates with the police. So the Track Child is a limited portal, whereas everybody can participate in the new portal. The new Khoya Paya web portal establishes citizen to citizen contact and allows India to take part in search for missing children, she said. We are trying this type of portal for the first time in India, she added.
She said that as per the information provided by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), no of missing children every year is about 70,000. Total recovered children since January 2012 upto April 2015 is 73597 as per the data available on Track Child portal. So a citizen based website to search children can really be helpful in locating the missing children.
The Union Minister of Communication & IT, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad said that aim of Digital India is to bridge the digital divide. It is the dream of the Hon’ble Prime Minister that the Digital India should be more for the poor and underprivileged. He said that we should use technology for the benefit of poor. The launch of this portal gives the concrete shape to that great thought, he said. He also said that this will help in better coordination and locating the missing children.
The Khoya Paya website is an enabling platform, where citizens can report missing children, as well as sightings of their whereabouts without wasting much time. The ‘Found’ children can also be reported on this web portal. The reporting can be done through text, photographs, videos and other means of transmitting and uploading information to the KhoyaPaya site. Information about missing and sighted children can be uploaded at Khoyapaya.gov.in.
The missing children are a cause of deep concern not only for the Government but also for the child protection institutions, society and above all for the parents. These children are vulnerable to the mental and physical assault which leads to mental trauma for these children. Most of the missing children are trafficked for labour, for sexual exploitation, abducted, or kidnapped, or due to crimes against children. They could be runaways from home, or simply be lost. This is the reason that it is not only important to get the information related to these missing children, but it is equally important that the information is exchanged speedily to locate the children.
Therefore, it was felt that the use of social media can play a pivotal role in searching missing children. The Khoyapaya web portal will facilitate in the speedy reporting of missing and found children. The missing children can be located through the site based interaction. The citizens can upload the information related to the found children. They will be encouraged to provide information about the abandoned, lost children and those children who are sighted with the suspicious persons. Through this portal, they are also advised to inform the nearest police station.
The launch of the portal was followed by the Question-Answer session where media persons asked various questions related to the functioning and other issues related to the newly launched Khoya Paya portal. The Minister of Women and Child development, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi said that more programmes will be run to spread awareness about this portal, so that maximum people can get benefit of the portal.
Shri V.S.Oberoi, Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Shri R. S. Sharma, Secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), Dr Ajay Kumar, Director General, NIC, Shri Frank Noronha, Director General, PIB and other senior officials of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Department of Electronics and Information Technology and members of NGOs were also present on the occasion.