Imran Ali Phull
Child abduction and abuse cases are coming to surface in various regions of the country especially in Punjab province where innocent, poor and helpless children have become the target of abductors. Nowadays, our streets are not safe and protected any more as these children have been lifted frequently and subjected to sexual assault and later these innocent children are blackmailed by videos of such cruel acts as well. Apart from the pain the kidnappers inflict on their victims and their families, they are doing incalculable damage to the image of the country.
Government must take immediate and effective measures against this deplorable and appalling situation as we see many helpless and miserable children wandering on streets as garbage collectors, flowers vendors and doing other menial jobs. In current scenario these children are completely vulnerable to many horrendous crimes and incidents. It is not only the job of Government but of an individual and society as whole to remain vigilant, wary and keep an eagle eye on their beloved ones. In order to curb the wave of kidnapping in the society, parents and teachers should carefully guide their children about this alarming situation and they must guide and teach them important steps to avoid such incidents.
First of all children must be aware to remain extremely cautious and circumspect while interacting with strangers in the absence of family members. Children should know that these culprits might utilize different strategies to lure them or become close with them. In some cases these abductors might ask them about directions to someone’s house, or they may ask for help to find their lost pet so there is no need to guide any stranger. Children should never take any food or hitch-hike from any unknown and if any suspicious or unfamiliar person is trying to interact with them or if they see any suspicious vehicle regularly while going to school or home then they must inform parents and teachers instantly. Children should know very clearly that politeness, obsequious and obedience is the best practice but in some cases they don’t have to be polite at all especially when they confront such situation. A comprehensive and adequate guidance should be given to them categorically about sexual advancement by any person and they should be trained how to react and response during attempted abduction, any untoward or an emergency situation. At schools, teachers should guide them about life-saving techniques or safety practices like if someone is trying to grab them then they should yell loudly for help and try to run away etc. It should be their practice and habit to go to school or playground in groups and they must cram police or rescue help line numbers.
Meanwhile, parents should meticulously observe changes in their children and try to remain with them friendly so they don’t hesitate to share any unusual thing. Moreover, in our streets and areas parents should make a collective neighbourhood watch programme to monitor their children and this initiative will definitely yield positive results. The police should also devise means of collaborating with various communities to combat the crime. Finally, the most important step is to build the confidence and courage in children and they must be self-reliant and self-confident to confront such consternation and menace. If we adopt a multi-prong approach collectively and put our shoulders to wheel then this threat will be tackled and our beloved children will remain safe, secure and they will grow up in healthy environment.