Sunday, June 28, 2015

Khoya Paya (Lost & Found)

Around 70,000 children go missing every year in India, but only 73,597 children have been traced between January 2012 and April 2015.

The above statistic was provided by Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi on the occasion of the Launch of Khoya Paya (, a website aimed to be a common platform for people to share information about missing children. Users can upload pics, videos of the missing/found children on the portal. has been developed by the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY). 

In Hindi, Khoya means lost and Paya means found.

The portal is said to be the brainchild of PM Narendra Modi who had asked officers to create a portal where citizens could upload information about missing children. The portal is in addition to the existing ‘Track Child’ portal which belongs to the Ministry of Home Affairs where only police communicates with the police regarding missing child cases. However, would help public take part in tracking missing children across the nation. Missing children could be runaways from home, or simply be lost and are trafficked for labour, for sexual exploitation, abducted, or kidnapped, or due to crimes against children. 

Khoyapaya is simple to use and the help section provides a clear flow chart on how to use the portal. The site also provides info on filing an FIR with the police in case of reporting a missing child. Interestingly, a record of proceedings in the portal states the following

 “Ms. Shobha, learned counsel, has also made another useful suggestion regarding a computerized programme, which would create a network between the Central Child Protection Unit as the Head of the Organization and all State Child Protection Units, District Child Protection Units, City Child Protection Units, Block Level Child Protection Units, all Special Juvenile Police Units, all Police stations, all Juvenile Justice Boards and all Child Welfare Committees. The said suggestion should be seriously taken up and explored by the National Legal Services Authority with the Ministry of Women and Child Development. Once introduced, the website link should also be made known to the public at large.” 

The record also states “…in case of every missing child reported, there will be an initial presumption of either abduction or trafficking, unless, in the investigation, the same is proved otherwise…”

Though the portal looks good technically, there are certain practical issues that need to be resolved. It is a matter of concern as to how the portal will be taken to the people in rural areas as well as areas where Internet is still a luxury. It has been more than a week since the launch of the portal and not sure if there is any promotional campaign around it. Also, for poor families and computer illiterates, it is still a challenge. NGOs, Social service activists could play an active role in helping the people who do not have access/do not know how to use internet and help enter the information about missing children.

Let us hope this is the beginning of the end of crimes against innocent children.

This article is written by Anand Prabu. Follow him on Linkedin here.