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State Govt plan to rehabilitate trafficking victims

By Sanjoy Ray

GUWAHATI, Feb 23 - Dispur is soon going to notify an extensive plan to cover trafficking survivors of Assam through the social welfare department, an initiative that promises to provide succour to thousands of victims, who invariably come from disadvantaged background.

As part of the scheme, a corpus amount of Rs 2 crore will be spent to rescue, rehabilitate and repatriate the victims.

Sources informed that the scheme has been prepared by the State government in consultation with Kailash Satyarthi Foundation and the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), which had recently launched a massive awareness project in the State.

�The scheme, which will be notified soon, also aims at addressing issues relating to the unabated human trafficking trend through the remotest areas of the State,� the sources added.

Meanwhile, the government has also decided to give a nod to the introduction of an exclusive anti-human trafficking helpline number, which will be a first-of-its-kind initiative in India.

The helpline number, it has been learnt, will be set up in all the district headquarters, especially in districts which are rated as the source areas of the trafficking racket.

BBA spokesperson Rakesh Senger welcomed the move and said, �We have been demanding the helpline number for quite some time. Now that the government has decided to introduce it, we want the helpline number to be linked with the law-enforcing agencies for prompt action.�

Thousands of children go missing every year only to find themselves in the clutches of the human trafficking racket. �In the last three years too, the trend has not changed and most cases are reported from districts like Baksa, Lakhimpur, Sonitpur, Kamrup and Kokrajhar.

However, although there ceases to be any distinct arrest in the rate of such crimes, the conviction rate continues to be abysmally low.

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