The alarming pattern of technologically adept kids disappearing in Telangana

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Missing Youth Cases Emerge in Telangana

News comes from the source of Reader Wall about a 16-year-old boy from Kushaiguda, Hyderabad who disappeared from home with a goal to earn money independently. Two months later, he was discovered in Mumbai, working in a water treatment plant. The boy’s primary motivation was to raise enough funds to join a cricket club, a dream his family had reportedly not supported.

Tracing the Increasing Cases of Missing Youths

Such a case is not isolated. Reader Wall, based on data available until 2022 from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), reported that from 2018 to 2022, 16,897 minors in Telangana had been reported missing, averaging to nine cases daily.

In another incidence, a girl studying in Class X in Ahmedabad ran away from home with 8 lakh cash. Her goal was to pursue a career in fashion designing, a dream that was not supported by her family. She was later found in Pune by Telangana police who used her search history to track her down.

These incidents are some among the many tragic instances recalled by Mahesh Bhagwat, the Additional Director General of Police of Telangana State.

Understanding the Scale of Missing Youth Cases

The latest NCRB report indicated that 83,350 children (20,380 males, 62,946 females, and 24 transgenders) were reported missing across India in 2022 and 47,313 of these kids are yet to be traced.

Telangana ranks eighth nationwide in the total count of missing children, accounting for 4,097 missing cases in 2022. However, the state shows promise as 87.6% of children have been successfully traced,

Factors Leading to Increasing Missing Youth Cases

Dr. Sunitha Krishnan, founder of Prajwala, explained that more children from middle-class and stable family backgrounds are running away. This was not the case earlier, with reasons for disappearance often traced to dysfunctional families, school pressures, or attempts to escape poverty.

Moreover, the advent and easy access to social media play a role in the rising number of cases, thinning the line between missing children and trafficking, as illustrated by a case from December 2023.

Additionally, Mr. Bhagwat shared that a mismatch in the aspirations of children and their parents and academic pressures have been significant contributors to these cases. Stress and communication gap at home have also pointed towards the increasing isolation and virtual world indulgence of today’s generation.

Tracing and Addressing the Missing Youth Cases

Telangana police have implemented measures to address the issue of missing children. The Supreme Court has directed that all missing children complaints at police stations should be converted into First Information Reports (FIR).

Further, technology and national-level programs like Operation Muskan have considerably aided the state in tracing and rehabilitating missing children. The Telangana State Police developed the face recognition portal ‘Darpan’ in 2018 to help reunite missing children with their families.

As per the latest annual report of Telangana State, between January and July 2023, Operation Smile and Operation Muskaan have resulted in the rescue of 5,572 children. Of these, 4,832 were reunited with their parents, and the rest were sheltered in homes.

However, the delay in reporting these cases by parents poses a significant challenge in tracing these children. Ensuing sincere efforts from relevant stakeholders are paramount in addressing and solving these cases effectively.

The Missing Youth Cases in Rural India

The case of missing children in rural India is challenging due to inadequate descriptions and photographs of the missing child. Hence, addressing these cases, especially in rural parts of India, requires a more comprehensive and systemic approach.

Nonetheless, efforts are ongoing, and it is hoped that the situation will gradually improve with continued sincere efforts and the use of advanced and appropriate technology.


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