If Your Child Is Lost

Arathi S Nath: What to Do If Your Child Gets Lost

What should be done when your child is lost or when you have found a missing child? 

Of course, inform the nearest police station since that’s the most crucial and basic step that one must act when in such a situation. But there’s something further in addition that we must do, in order to ensure that proper action is being taken and to know the status of our complaint.

Khoya-Paya is a portal that is designed by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. It is an initiative of the Central Government to make the public availability of a platform to share the details of the missing, found, sighted children with the public at large.

It is considered as an add-on to all other existing mechanisms, established in India by the Government, for child safety. Hence it is mandatory to primarily inform the police to register an FIR in case of missing a child. 

The term is a Hindi word where khoya means “lost” and paya means “found” and I think the website is well-named! The portal can be accessed by any citizen of India with a mobile phone, email id and valid id proof. The person accessing the portal has to register with the portal and then log in for availing various services.

The portal mainly provides three kinds of services
  • My child is missing: An option which allows the parents to directly lodge a complaint regarding their child missing case. It allows parents to enter the details of the child so that it becomes easier to identify the child.
  • I have sighted a child: An option which allows any person, who has found a missing child, to bring the matter into the kind notice of the authorities.
  • Searching a missing child– This option allows a user who has already registered with the portal, to search the child in two ways- (i) search in citizens corner i.e., the portal itself (ii) search in track child, which directs the user to another page i.e., the website of National Tracking System for Missing and Vulnerable Children.
All the options can be accessed only if the user has a registered account with the portal. Let’s find out how to register with portal:
  • Go to the portal on http://khoyapaya.gov.in/mpp/home.
  • Click on the Login/ Register option. If you have already registered, you can login by entering mobile number and clicking the “Send OTP” option. By entering the OTP that has been sent to the registered mobile number, you will be able to login.
  • If you have not registered then enter the details in the ‘Register’ section given below.
  • You will be asked to enter your personal details like Name, mobile number, Email id, address, Aadhaar Number, Photo ID proof , which has to be uploaded in the JPG, PNG or GIF file format under 2 MB and then enter the security code shown there. Click the ‘I accept the Terms and Conditions as mentioned on this portal’ option and then click ‘send OTP’.
  • Once registered, you will be asked to enter the details of the missing child/ the abandoned child.

The portal also mentions certain Dos and Don’ts to be followed by the Parents and others in case a child is missing, when a child returns home and in case a child is sighted without any guardian or found abandoned. Let’s quickly go through few of the important points.

Steps to be followed by the Parents If Your Child Is Lost
  • Dial 100 for police or 1098 for Childline.
  • Inform the nearest police station and register an FIR.
  • Notify all local media assignment desks.
  • Inform the station master of the nearest Railway Station.
  • Never give up hope
Steps to be followed by Parents once the child returns home
  • Let the police and the Childline know that the child has returned.
  • Express the happiness and talk to him/her and allow him/her time to settle in.
  • Get medical treatment if required.
Steps to be followed in case a child is sighted without any guardian.
  • Ask the child if he knows the name, address or phone number of his parent or guardian. 
  • Whether he knows the above information or not, inform the police or Childline and the station master of the nearest railway station.
  • Comfort him/her but avoid physical touching.
  • Do not take the child elsewhere. Remain in the immediate location until any authority arrives for assistance. If no authorities turn up even after informing, then take the child to the nearest Police Station.
  • Upload the information about the child in the Khoya-Paya portal.

Also Read: Procedure to adopt a child under Hindu Law

The portal was launched on 2nd June, 2015 by the Government to provide the first-of-its-kind citizen-based website to exchange information on missing and found children, but how many of us know about such an important scheme by the Government?

I feel this is a significant portal, about which due awareness has to be given to the public in order to get the desired benefit out of it. Improper information and lack of knowledge about such crucial websites may lead to ineffective implementation of the same and at the same time it results in wastage of effort put on building them. 

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