Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service
Hyderabad, November 5
The “Operation Muskaan” has not left a smile on all the children’s faces rescued this week.
Around 631 out of 2,195 children tested COVID-19 positive in Andhra Pradesh after being rescued from various places following a missing report filed by their families.
“Operation Muskaan” is an ongoing national project to find children, and unite them with their families.
The state has rescued around 16,457 children across Andhra Pradesh.
Out of these, 2,196 were tested for the deadly disease and 631 ended up testing positive—which delayed them from uniting with their families.
“A total of 2,195 kids have already been tested for COVID-19 until now, tests for the rest of them are underway. Unfortunately, out of those whose results have been declared, 631 kids have tested positive and are being given necessary medical attention,” said an official of the state police.
Now, being tested for coronavirus is essential for all children being rescued under the scheme.
Remarkably, the Andhra Pradesh police have rescued 16,457 children in a week’s time with the help of ChildLine and Child Welfare Committee (CWC) from various places, such as the railway stations, bus stations, parks, hotels and others public places.
A majority of these children would have been kidnapped or trafficked while some would run from their families due to various reasons.
Director-General of Police (DGP) Andhra Pradesh Police, Gautam Sawang—who supervised the rescue operation, deploying 794 police teams— said, that the rescued children included child labourers, children living on the streets, orphans, and also those who ran away from home.
Of the 16,457 children, 13,588 were boys, and the remaining 2,869, were girls.
Few children were reunited with their families while others were sent to child care centres.
The state police initiated “Operation Muskaan” in January, completing three iterations already, and saving a total of 25,298 children across the southern state.