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No More Missing: To Reunite Child Beggars With Their Families, Click A Photo & Share On Social Media

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A couple of days ago, Ankit was thronged by a group of child beggars near Phoenix mall in Pune. Had it been someone else, they might have dismissed the kids with a few ten-rupee notes or simply ignored them. But Ankit stumbled upon a little boy among them, still uneasy with the practice of approaching people for money. Immediately, he managed to click a photo of the boy and shared it on the public Facebook group – No More Missing. The photo has been circulating on social media for the past few days and active searches are on for the boy’s family.

‘No More Missing’, a citizen-driven pan-India initiative to prevent child trafficking has managed to rescue and reunite hundreds of missing children with their families. Their basic mandate is to stop giving money to child beggars anywhere but to circulate their photo instead. 

The Horrifying Menace Of Child Trafficking

The movement was launched in September 2015 by Dr Vandna Guliya, a social activist from Delhi. She was deeply troubled by frequent reports of little children being trafficked into begging rackets which are active in urban pockets. As a mother, she was inevitably worried about the safety of her own children and genuinely concerned about the rising menace of child trafficking. 

“Most of the child beggars we find on the streets might have been abducted and sold into this abysmal profession. Some of them have been trafficked hundreds of miles away from their homes. Finding a missing child in India is like searching for a needle in a haystack,” Vandna explains the problem to Efforts For Good

No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank

How No More Missing Works

This is where the power of social media comes in handy. It takes just a few moments to upload the photo of a child beggar along with the location. The photo is circulated widely on Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter or Instagram in dedicated No More Missing groups or among the public until the child is reunited with the family.

Photos of missing children are also uploaded and shared along with a detailed description. Harnessing the splendid outreach of social media is way faster than solely depending on police authorities or Missing Persons Bureau to initiate action.

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“We have more than 20 crore members in India who keep the No More Missing network active 24×7. The impact of the movement has gone beyond borders. Countries like the UK, USA have started similar citizen-driven programmes to ensure the safety of children,” shares Vandna.

No More Missing
No More Missing volunteers

Vandna believes that creating awareness about the safety of kids deserves paramount importance. She operates a No More Missing core team comprising 12 full-time members who conduct safety workshops for children and their parents in schools and communities across India, especially Delhi, Rajasthan and Hyderabad. The entire funding comes from Vandna’s personal savings. She strongly discourages any attempt to monetise the movement.

How To Ensure Your Child’s Safety

In most cases, a child goes missing due to momentary negligence by the parent, be it in a crowd or public transport. No More Missing trains parents how to stay alert all the time. They also teach children how to protect themselves in public spaces and strangers with malicious intent.

Vandna advises, “We request all parents to approach the authorities immediately in case their child goes missing. They should file a report to 1098 and go through all the documentation paraphernalia in details. All these are very important in locating a missing child.”

No More Missing
Vandna conducting an awareness session at a school

“You take pity on a poor child in shabby clothes and give them some money. Little do you realise that money will only end up in the hands of racketeers. Our responsibility is to break this vicious cycle. Give them food, clothes and share their photos around – that’s the best way to prevent them from turning into beggars,” she adds.

A-lister celebrities like Vidya Balan, Anil Kapoor and John Abraham have pledged their support to the No More Missing movement. The team also has plans to coordinate with Smriti Irani, Minister of Women and Child Development, for more effective child protection measures across the country.

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Goonj Is Working With 1000’s Of Volunteers & Partner NGOs To Provide Covid-19 Relief In 18 States

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With the extension of the lockdown the crisis of migrant labourers and daily wagers has just grown bigger due to uncertainty and fear of future. In the migrant colonies, slums and for people in the villages hunger and desperation is building up day by day. This is high time we step up our efforts to support our people who are in dire need of food and hygiene essentials to survive the pandemic, Covid-19.

After the India-wide lockdown, a lot of jobless migrant workers are stuck in cities with hardly any resources while many started retreating back to their villages. With the loss of livelihoods, a large number of them are now struggling to support their families.

Goonj activated its pan India teams and a pan India network of partner organizations and volunteers in urban and rural India. This network, built over the last two decades, helps them learn from the ground, reach material quickly and review and adapt strategy periodically. Intensifying this network has helped Goonj reach and start work across 17produced states/UT in the last three weeks.
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Goonj’s focus: 

Majority of the Covid-19 relief work by non profits right now is in the metros and cities but Goonj is the only non profit that is also simultaneously focusing on the people in the villages and the ones stuck on highways or somewhere.

Goonj is targeting daily wagers, migrants and other vulnerable groups, who even traditionally are left out like the disabled, sex workers, LGBTQ community.

“COVID-19 is a crisis, yes…But, it’s also an opportunity for us to build the society anew. Not ‘for’ the people…but, ‘with’ the people. And in the process, we will build ourselves too.” – Anshu Gupta, Founder-Director, Goonj.

Direct Monetary and Material Transfer

Wherever Goonj got the permission to open their centres for packing and disbursement of relief material kits, they are creating a kit consisting of 20-30 kgs material including dry rations, masks, sanitary pads and other hygiene material and reaching them to people, as per needs and as per regulations with all safety precautions. This kit will help a family survive for 30 days.

Information till 10th April 2020:

  • Distributed 15,100 ration kits reaching thousands of people
  • Reached 17,700 families
  • Supporting 12 community kitchen across India with 16,600kgs of ration
  • 77,800 food packets provided to migrant laborers and daily wagers walking on the roads across the country.
  • Provided direct financial support to 32 organisations
  • Made 42,800 cloth face masks
  • 24,900 cloth sanitary napkins produced
  • Produced 1500 litres of organic sanitiser

In Goonj’s processing centers its trained team of women are making cloth face masks and cloth sanitary pads (MY-Pads), keeping all the precautions and with the permission and cooperation of the local authorities.

In this lock-down phase if you are facing any difficulty getting sanitary pads or you are running out of stock, here’s a detailed but very simple process of making Cloth Pads at home created by Goonj. “This is how we make Goonj MY Pads.” This is how our mothers and grandmothers turned their spare cloth into pads.

This disaster, unlike any other, is unprecedented in its scale and impact and that’s why we all must do our bit with Goonj to continue its relief work for millions of people in this still unfolding long-tailed disaster.

The need is huge.. We are there.. Need You too !!

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Quote
It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote
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