Kathmandu, November 16
The rate at which children are getting lost or being abandoned in the city area has been increasing.
Data recorded by Central Child Welfare Centre, Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu, shows that the rate of children getting lost in the Valley has been increasing every month.
Data shows that within three months 60 children were lost while 84 children were found abandoned inside the Valley.
The data recorded from July 16 to September 16 shows that the number of abandoned children found inside the Valley was higher than in other development regions of the country.
According to Santosh Chandra Adhikari, program officer at Central Child Welfare Centre, single children who do not know who their parents are or who have lost their parents are mostly found in the streets.
“We have been searching for those children who were lost and abandoned. Those children who do have their own parents were returned after being found, while orphaned children were taken to the ‘children’s home’ for protection.”
Among the 144 lost and abandoned children, 86 were found and handed over to their parents, while 15 children have still not been found and 39 of them were kept at the children’s welfare centre.
He informed that children run away not only from their homes but also from the Children welfare centres. In a period of three months, four boys have run away from children’s organizations.
There are more than 300 orphan and child houses in the Valley which have been taking care of abandoned children. According to Adhikari, nearly 83 per cent children were recorded as lost and abandoned by their families.
Mostly, children from Achham, Terhathum, and Dang run away from their home to the capital for different reasons. Due to lack of information about locations, they get lost in the city.
Adhikari informed that parents do not inform the police or the centre after their children are found. “People register complaints when they lose their child, but forget to inform us when they come back home.
Because of this trend, we are unable to record the exact data of lost children and it is also hard to find the children.”
Most of the people are unaware about the child welfare centre and the free help line ‘104’ to inform about lost and abandoned children.
Due to lack of knowledge they are not able to use the help line ‘104’.
A version of this article appears in print on November 17, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.