Operation Smile also called as Operation MUSKAAN is an initiative of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to rescue/rehabilitate missing children. It is a dedicated campaign for a month where several activities are taken up by the State Police personnel to trace and rescue the missing children and reunite them with their families.
The “Operation MUSKAAN -III” was taken up during July, 2017 throughout the country as a follow up of the earlier campaigns to rescue/rehabilitate the missing children.
Operation Smile - the beginning
The present Union government's initiative is based on a successful operation titled "Operation Smile" taken up by the Ghaziabad Police, Uttar Pradesh during September 2014. As part of the operation, 227 missing children of Ghaziabad were rescued from different parts of the country in just one month.
Salient points of Operation Smile
- Approximately 100 plus Police officers of various ranks were sensitized and trained about the issues related to missing children Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) JJ Act, Protection of Child Right Act, relevant sections of Cr.PC & IPC and Advisories issued by MHA etc.
- The trained officers visited various parts of the country to recover missing children in connection with various FIRs lodged at police stations in Ghaziabad
- One of the major findings was that children residing in shelter homes, on railway platforms, at bus stands and religious places and on the roads, etc. were part of the missing children.
- Support of print and electronic media were also used to share the information of missing children. Police personnel from respective places as well as parents approached the Ghaziabad police for taking the children back.
Activities taken up as part of Operation Smile
- All children residing in shelter homes, platforms, bus stands, roads, religious places, etc. are to be screened by trained police personnel.
- Before the operation, the Police personnel from each State are properly trained in methodology to extract information from such children tactfully without they getting intimidated, as well as in various provisions of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) JJ Act, Protection of Child Right Act, relevant sections of Cr.PC & IPC and Advisories issued by MHA etc.
- To know the magnitude of the problem, data with full details of number of cases of missing children will be maintained and shared at intra-State and Inter-state level. Information about Child Welfare Committees (CWCs) would be prepared and shared among all rescue teams and stakeholders.
- During the operation, the particulars of such identified children will be uploaded on the 'Missing child' portal of the Ministry of Women and Child Development by the respective State Police.
- Rehabilitation measures whenever needed are to be taken up in coordination with the other line Departments like Department of Women & Child Development, Police, Labour, etc so that scope of re-victimization is eliminated.
- Public awareness to be increased by way of national campaign, advertisement on national media, etc.
Past Operation Smile campaigns and their outcomes
Earlier all States/UTs were advised to take up a one month campaign titled ‘Operation Smile’ in the month of January, 2015 to rescue/rehabilitate the missing children. Similarly, another dedicated campaign titled ‘Operation Muskaan’ was launched in the month of July, 2015 throughout the country.
As part of the campaign, a large number of missing children have been reunited with their families which is a remarkable achievement made by the field offices. In order to motivate the policemen to take up such causes with sincerity and empathy, Police Officers from different States/UTs who had played a commendable role during the campaign are also recognized and rewarded by the Union Home Ministry.
It is reported that during “Operation Muskan” campaign during July 2015, 19,195 children were found. During July 2016 Campaign, 12,233 children were recovered.
Source : PIB