Every month, 64,851 children, women and men go missing.
Panaji: India is witnessing a shocking trend in the number of cases of missing children, women and men being reported across the country. In 2020, the missing persons fell by 34,295 compared to 2019; the shocking fact is that in 2020, even as India was battling the Covid-19 pandemic, we still saw a total of 6,70,145 missing, while in 2019, 6,93,003 children, women and men were missing across India.
Every hour, 88 children, women and men are missing in India. Every day, 2,130 children, women and men go missing. And every month, 64,851 children, women and men go missing. Every hour, an average of 12 children go missing across India. Every day that average is 296 children missing across India. And every month that is a disturbing number of 9,019 children missing in India.
In 2019, National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data revealed that 1,19,617 children were reported missing in India. Out the total number of children missing, 69.7% were young girls—a shocking total of 82617 girls missing across the country. Boys constituted 28.4% of the total missing children a shocking 33,972; while the remaining were transgenders, 26 children.
In 2019, 59.8% of the girls missing were traced and 59% of the boys missing were traced. But, over 40% of children in the 2019 report are still missing. Madhya Pradesh reported the highest number of cases of missing children, a shocking 17,058 children. In West Bengal, the number reported was 16,027 according to NCRB 2019 data. Bihar reported 12,404 missing children; Delhi 12,239 and Maharashtra 8,276.
But shockingly at a time when India was dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, here is the data of missing children in India. The total number of children missing across India is 1,08,234, according to the NCRB data. 33,456 girls were reported missing and 15,410 boys were missing. Missing transgenders were 16. Among the states, Madhya Pradesh reported 14,553 missing children cases. West Bengal reported 14,071 missing children cases, Bihar reported 12064, Delhi 10658 and Maharashtra 7310.
In 2020, 59.7% of the children were traced—48,717 girls were traced, while 15,832 boys were traced. That’s 61.5% and 54.6% of girls and boys traced—so 43,661 continue to remain missing.
Let me throw light on the missing women and men across India. Every hour, 48 women go missing across India and 28 men go missing across India. Every day, that average is 1,160 women and 674 men missing across India. And every month, that is a disturbing number of 35,304 women and 20,528 men missing in India.
In 2019, NCRB data revealed that 4,22,439 women and 2,70,433 men were reported missing in India. It is a disturbing total of 693,003 women and men missing across our country; and 121 transgenders too.
Reportedly, according to the NCRB data, 52.8% of missing women have been traced in 2019 and 46.4% of missing have been tracked. But shockingly, over 53% of men continue to remain untraceable and missing, while over 47% of women continue to remain untraceable and not recovered.
According to the NCRB data, Maharashtra accounts for 124,515 cases of missing women and men. West Bengal had reported 99,898 missing cases of women and men, while Madhya Pradesh reported 93,661, Delhi – 48860, Rajasthan – 33626, Chhatisgarh – 28124, Odisha – 27,715 and Tamil Nadu – 27162 cases of missing women and men. The shocking truth is that 40% of children have not yet been traced; 47% of women not yet found and 53% of men still missing.
Now, let’s take a look at the shocking missing women and men data in 2020, when India was dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. The total missing persons, women and men, in India in 2020 was a disturbing 6,70,145 persons—that is 22,858 less than 2019. Yet, when the nation was under a lockdown, still women and men were missing.
The missing women cases reported in India in 2020 was 4,23,655 and 2,46,343 men, while 147 transgenders were reported missing. Maharashtra reported the most number of missing persons cases—a shocking 109,585 cases. The cases in Maharashtra were 14,930 less compared to 2019. West Bengal reported 95081 missing person cases, according to the NCRB data; Madhya Pradesh reported 91299, Delhi 47524 and Odisha 37068.
So far in 2020, only 49.6% missing persons have been traced. 50.4% continue to remain untraced. Out of the missing persons traced, 52.9% women were traced and 44% men were traced, leaving 47.1% of women still missing and 46% men still untraced across India.
According to NCRB, among the female population, from the age below 5 years to below 18 years, 79,233 girls were missing in 2020. From the age 18 years to above 60 years, 3,35,009 women were missing. According to NCRB data, among the male population, from the age below 5 years to below 18 years, 28976 boys were missing in 2020. From the age 18 years to above 60 years, 1,95,610 men were missing. The moot question that remains when we analyze the NCRB data, we are left disturbed over the simple and but hard fact that 50.4% children, women and men continue to remain missing.
It is important for families who have lost their relatives to find a closure to these cases. It is important for the Indian government to find out the reasons behind our inability to find our missing people in the country and also set up systems to stem the constant rise of the missing children, women and men in India.
The question that remains to be asked is whether some of the missing persons are victims of global human-trafficking; are they victims of the global illegal human organs trade market or are they dead by an act of crime or natural causes. The truth that 50.4% still remain missing is a haunting fact and we as citizens must take a firm decision to impress upon the government to find our missing Indians because every child, woman and man is important to a family and important to society; so we need to know what has happened to them.
Savio Rodrigues is the founder and editor-in-chief of Goa Chronicle.