Of the 3,658 children gone missing during last fiscal year 2020-21, 3,009 were reunited with their families, according to the Ministry of Women, Children, and Senior Citizens.

The government, in coordination with the National Centre for Children at Risk (104), searched for the missing kids and reunited them with their families, said spokesperson for the ministry Umesh Dhungana.

Also, 297 stranded children, 355 street children and 58 children involved in risky and hazardous work were rescued and rehabilitated during the same period, informed Dhungana.

Those not found must have gone to India, which makes search and rescue difficult, said the ministry.

The National Child Rights Council is continuing with the search, rescue and rehabilitation of the missing and stranded children. The rescued ones above 13 years are being sheltered at Shuvar Recovery, Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre and those below 13 are housed at Bal Awaj, an organisation in Lalitpur.

The authorities try to find the families of rescued children and children whose families cannot be found are sheltered in designated shelters. They are enrolled in the school and taken care of by government agencies.

As of mid-July this year, altogether 1,788 stranded, missing children (1,536 boys and 252 girls) were rescued and rehabilitated since the campaign 'Street Children-Free Nepal' was initiated in 2016, the ministry said.

Likewise, 868 children were reunited with their families, 214 were sent for vocational and skill-based training and 59 have already entered the job market upon completion of training, said the ministry. Similarly, 50 children whose families were not found are being taken care of.

A version of this article appears in the print on September 14 2021, of The Himalayan Times.