Operation Smile: Telangana Police Rescues 2,119 Children, Some Trafficked, Others Into Begging, LabourSwati Lakra, Inspector-General of Police (Women’s Safety), Telangana

Technology proved useful when a visually-impaired boy who went missing from Uttar Pradesh was rescued at Mancherial railway station in North Telangana under Phase V of ‘Operation Smile’ recently, reports The Hindu.

According to the report, the 17-year-old boy was located when his details were entered in DARPAN app, a face recognition application created by the Telangana police.

The rescue teams extensively relied on technologies such as facial recognition software for the first time in the country and is the unique feature of this operation.

“His details were matched with lakhs of images from various databases across the country and his details tallied with that of a boy who went missing in November last year. He was reunited with his family,” Swati Lakra, IGP (Law & Order) and in-charge of Women’s Safety, was quoted as saying by The Hindu.

The report also says that the Telangana police along with other government departments has saved 2,119 children (466 girls and 1,653 boys). “Of the 2,119 saved children, 1,303 were reunited with their families while 816 were sent to rescue homes,” the IGP said. Seven hundred and sixty-three children belonged to other states, she added.

Most of the rescued children were reportedly involved in begging and child labour, while others were trafficked.

“The teams have saved vulnerable children from railway stations, bus stations, religious places, traffic junctions and footpaths since the launch of the operation,” Lakra said.

The report says that 58 cases were registered under various sections relating to crime against children.

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