PM inaugurates helpline for missing kids, women

Kathmandu, March 7:

Prime Minister Girja Prasad Koirala today inaugurated a three-digit (104) toll-free telephone line, set up to disseminate information about missing children and women, by calling up from his office in Baluwatar. The Bhrikuti Mandap-based National Centre for Children at Risk will operate the service.

In a telephonic conversation with Minister of State for Women, Children and Social Welfare Urmila Aryal, Koirala said he is eager to support the newly-introduced system.

He expressed gratitude to the government and non-governmental organisations, civil society for helping set up the toll-free line. Minister Aryal told the PM over phone that such a service was felt necessary after the kidnapping and murder of Bibek Luintel. She said the system will trace children and women missing from all over the country.

Additional Inspector General Dipak Thangden said police receive complaints about women and children, who have freshly arrived in the valley, going missing. According to the NCCR, 639 children went missing in four months and 302 children were found.

Eighty per cent of the missing children were traced within 24 hours, 11 per cent within two to seven days, six per cent in 8-15 days, 2.5 per cent in 15-30 days and 0.5 per cent in 30 days.

Plan Nepal, Save the Children Norway and Action Aid Nepal would provide Rs 0.5 million each for the system, Dipak Raj Sapkota, executive director of the Central Child Welfare Board, said, adding that the cabinet has decided to provide Rs 1 million to set up the system.