This is one of my most feared moments: You stop at a traffic light with 120 seconds still to go green, and your eyes get locked with the eyes of the homeless child, begging on the road. He comes to you, and asks for some money, and you feel helpless and without any answer.
Yes, giving them money can’t solve the problem; but helping them can. But how can you help them and bring a social change?
Shashank Singh and Amol Gupta have used technology to bring a social revolution in India as they have launched their Android mobile application: ‘Helping Faceless’, using which you can help such children and stop child trafficking.
The idea is pretty simple: Whenever you see homeless children begging on the roads, click a picture of that child, and upload it to their servers. Using an algorithm, the application will scan a huge database of such missing children and if any match is found, the information will be instantly shared with nearest NGOs.
One of the co-founders of this application has been a victim of kidnapping when he was a child, and due to the help of a stranger, he was saved in the nick of time. This personal experience inspired them to develop and launch this app which can infact bring in a change.
As per various researches and case studies, it has been found that majority of these children who are begging on roads are part of a greater child-trafficking mafia, wherein they kidnap young children from villages and towns and force them to beg in big cities.
Yes, there exists several rules and regulations under the Indian constitution to tackle such cases, such as: The Child Labour (Prohibition and Prevention) Act, 1986 (amended in 2006), Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, 1986, Sections 361, 363-A, 367, 369 of the Indian Penal Code (deal with kidnapping of minors) etc but they are hardly effective.
The founders of application have started uploading pictures of children roaming on the roads and sleeping on pavements in Mumbai, and their last 8 months of efforts have helped them to create more awareness about their application. They have already started talks with Kolkata police and NGOs in Maharashtra and West Bengal to help them locate such children, and save them from trafficking.
Here is an interview of the founders of ‘Helping Faceless’ where you can get more insights and ideas behind this whole social campaign.
You can download the application for Android smartphones here.
Do share your suggestions and insights to tackle the menace of child trafficking in India, and how can technology be used to eradicate this problem.