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Indian Railways to launch child rescue website and child care kiosks

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source: indiablooms.com
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New Delhi: The Indian Railway Ministry might soon launch a website for missing children who are found or rescued particularly from trains or railway stations. The website will carry details of children who ran away from their homes or were trafficked, along with their pictures, so they can be reunited more easily with their families.

About 200 child care kiosks are also planned across major railway stations in the country that will be nodal centres to help rescued children.

Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Railways, along with Maneka Gandhi, Minister for Women and Child Development, inaugurated one of the first of the 200 upcoming child care kiosks spread across the country, on Wednesday, at the New Delhi Railway Station.

The child care kiosks, which will acts as prime centres for rescued children, are planned to be put up in various major railway stations in India.

The Divisional Railway Manager of Northern Railway, Delhi Division, Arun Arora said: “The kiosks are being put up primarily to help children who either run away from homes or are trafficked, mainly from the eastern part of the country or Nepal who land up in Delhi,” quoted The Hindu.

Arora said that the website was created on Prabhu’s instructions which called for a website showing the pictures of children rescued from railways and linked to khoyapaya.gov.in – a similar website which is run by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

The ministers also launched the ‘Posters for Child Protection’, which will be pasted on each of the Indian Railways operated 50,000 coaches. The posters have been created to “to involve public and generate awareness,” said Arora. “They contain instructions on what to do if they find a child,” he said.

“About 20 such kiosks will come up in Delhi Division alone, the first being at New Delhi railway station. In 2014-15, we have rescued 1,711 such children from Delhi,” he added.

A helpline has also been started by the Indian Railway which people can use to call in case they have information on children who are wandering around on the stations or inside the trains, generally looking lost.

“Any passenger who sees a child loitering around can bring the child to the kiosk, which is being manned by NGOs 24X7, besides RPF personnel and our commercial staff. The kiosks will serve as an interface between the parents of the children or childcare centres if parents are not available,” said Arora.

(Inputs from The Hindu)

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The Families Of Victims In Railway Accident Incident In India Stage Protests

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the accident a "heart-wrenching tragedy" and asked officials to provide immediate assistance to the injured.

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People gather at the site of an accident after a train traveling at high speed ploughed through a crowd of people on rail tracks near Amritsar, India. VOA

Angry relatives of the scores of people who were killed in India when they were run over by a speeding train staged protests Saturday while one of the country’s railway officials maintains the railway is not responsible for the tragic accident.

The train was traveling at high speed when it ploughed through a crowd Friday at a religious festival on the outskirts of the northern city of Amritsar, killing 59 people, Punjab state’s Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh, told reporters Saturday. Singh said 57 others were injured and an official investigation would be carried out over the next four weeks.

The Jalandhar-Amritsar express was traveling at 90 kilometers per hour when it hit the crowd, which had gathered on the tracks to watch a fireworks display marking the Hindu festival of Dussehra.

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The Hindu festival of Dussehra.

Hundreds of relatives of the victims engaged in sporadic protests on and near the tracks Saturday, calling for action against local authorities and the train operator, who was questioned Saturday by police.

Authorities moved the protestors off the tracks and brought in reinforcements to control the crowd.

‘No lapse on our part’

The railway accident was India’s worst in years, but the junior minister who manages Indian Railways, the world’s fourth largest rail system, refused to accept responsibility.

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A man mourns next to the burning pyre of a family member who died after a train traveling at high speed ploughed through a crowd of people, at a cremation site in Amritsar, India. VOA

“Railways cannot be blamed. Railways were not informed about the ceremony,” Manoj Sinha told reporters Saturday. Speaking to reporters, Sinha ruled out any punitive action against his staff, saying, “There was no lapse on our part and no action against the driver will be initiated.”

Local government officials said the festival takes place every year on the outskirts of Amritsar and that railroad authorities are alerted to run the trains at slow speeds.

Witnesses said the victims did not realize the train was coming because of the sound of the fireworks and celebrations.

‘Heart-wrenching’

Some witnesses said the train did not sound its whistle as it sped past the festival site.

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With India, Indian Railway is also digitizing, Pixels

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the accident a “heart-wrenching tragedy” and asked officials to provide immediate assistance to the injured.

Also Read: India Continues Engaging With USA Over H-1B Passport Issue

India’s railway network remains the main form of travel in the vast country, where railway accidents are relatively common.

Millions of Hindus celebrate the Dussehra festival by burning giant effigies of the demon Ravana, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil. (VOA)