Government Launches Khoya-Paya Web Portal
What is a Khoya-Paya web portal?
The Khoya Paya portal has been developed by the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY). It is a citizen-based website to exchange information of missing and found children. It
The Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Menka Sanjay Gandhi and Union Minister of Communications & IT, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad jointly launched the Khoya Paya web portal at a function organized at National Media Centre in New Delhi on 2nd June 2015.
Under the portal:
The Khoya Paya website is a facilitating platform, where citizens can report missing children, and finding their location without wasting much time. The ‘Found’ children can also be reported on this web portal. The reporting can be done through text, photographs, videos and other means of transmitting and uploading information to the KhoyaPaya site.
How Khoya-Paya Works:
- The information received will be shared in real time with police and state authorities, who have the authorization to register the complaint and investigate the case.
- “It was felt that we could have this portal, where if a child goes missing, families can put the details and the picture onto Khoya Paya,” Gandhi said at an event to launch the website, which is the first of its kind in India.
- “Then if you see the child anywhere, you can upload information and then the police see if they can correlate it”, she added.
- Around 70,000 children go missing every year in India, Gandhi said, quoting figures from the National Crime Records Bureau.
- Only 73,597 children have been traced between January 2012 and April 2015, she added.
Child rights activists and government officials say that many of the country’s missing children come from poor rural areas or urban slums where they are at high risk. “Most of the missing children are trafficked for labor, for sexual exploitation, abducted, or kidnapped. They could be runaways from home, or simply be lost,” said a government statement.
“This is the reason that it is not only important to get the information related to these missing children, but it is equally important that the information is exchanged speedily to locate the children.” It said that social media could play “a key role” in the search for missing children, as it would mean faster reporting.
Child rights activists welcomed the initiative and dismissed claims that it would only serve a small fraction of the country’s population, around 25 percent of who are Internet users.
“Even if people do not know how to use the Internet or have access, they can enlist the help of the village council members, an NGO, or local officials to register their case,” said Ravi Kant, president of Shakti Vahini, an anti-trafficking charity.
“Many NGOs like ours have already been going out into communities where children are at high risk and informing people of Khoya Paya and how they can use it. It is a good step towards finding our missing children.”
Features of the portal:
- KhoyaPaya is a citizen-centric portal for the missing and vulnerable children, where any citizen can register with the portal and provide information about a missing or found child, without waiting to complete the legal formalities.
- The information supplied by the citizen would be made available for public view after quick moderation, thereby saving the valuable time.
- The citizen can further do searching of the database of the children by matching the traits of the lost/sighted child.
- This also reduces the time for the relevant information to reach the affected citizen.
- The mobile app assists the user in providing details of the found children.
Concerns of the Khoya-Paya portal:
- The missing children are a cause of deep concern not only for the government but also for the child protection institutions, society and above all for the parents.
- These children are prone to the mental and physical assault which leads to mental trauma for these children.
- Most of the missing children are trafficked for labor, for sexual exploitation, abducted, or kidnapped, or due to crimes against children.
- They could be runaways from home, or simply be lost.
- This is the reason that it is not only important to get the information related to these missing children but it is equally important that the information is exchanged speedily to locate the children.
The missing children can be located through the site based interaction. The citizens can upload the information related to the found children. They will be encouraged to provide information about the abandoned, lost children and those children who are sighted with the suspicious persons. Through this portal, they are also advised to inform the nearest police station.
The information about missing and found children can be uploaded at Khoyapaya.gov.in.