Missing children remain stranded in Barisal

November 30, 2013

Political unrest has been hampering the safe return of recovered destitute or missing children to their families over the past couple of months.
Within a fortnight at least five such victims were recovered in the Barisal city by the Bangladesh Women Lawyers’ Association. Masuk Kamal, area coordinator of BNWLA, disclosing these facts said Lina Begum, a volunteer of BNWLA Rasulpur information centre in the city, on November 25 recovered one Sajib, 11, a partly speech-impaired boy.
Sajib only could tell that he came from Dhanmondi in Dhaka to Barisal by launch and failed to return home.
Sajib is now at the shelter home of Aparajeo Bangla, said advocate Nurun Nahar Begum, official of BNWLA.
Five-year-old boy Sobhan was found in a shop selling scrap items at Vatar Khal of the city on November 10 by Alfazur Rahman, field facilitator of the organisation.
Sobhan could tell the names of the members of his family and that he was from Jhawtala Panir Tengki, Lagolkot, Feni.
Two people brought him from Feni to Dhaka by train, then took him to Barisal by launch and left him at Barisal port.
Later he started working in a scrap shop of one Liton near the launch terminal.
Sobhan is now at the shelter centre of Chhotamani Nibas, children safe home of social service department at Agoiljhara of Barisal.
Shimul, 13, Mukta, 10, Nasima, 12, three siblings, coming from Gopalganj in search of their father, became destitute in the city on November 10, 2013.
According to the children, their father Nur Alam Khan left them and mother at Char Batna of Muladi about seven years ago and they took shelter at the house of maternal grandmother at Gopalganj.
Coming to Barisal in search of their father, they spent all their money and political unrest prevented them from returning to Gopalganj.
They later went to Barisal Reporters Unity office and sought help.
The BNWLA handed them over to their mother Shirin Begum after two days.
‘Arranging temporary shelter for the of the recovered victims, we inform and contact with respective police stations and use our own sources to verify identity and addresses of the victims to ensure their safe return to their respective families,’ Salma Ali, executive director of the BNWLA, said.
‘We now-a-days rarely get help from police as they say they are very busy in controlling law and order due to political unrests,’ said Manjuara Begum, Barisal divisional BNWLA-in charge.
‘In recent days even after recovering identifications of the victim children, we fail to hand them over to legal guardians because of political unrest. This stalemate adds to sufferings of both sides,’ Masuk Kamal, BNWLA area coordinator, said.
The recently recovered children cannot be defined as typical street-children and so they need special care in shelter and speedy safe return to their respective families but political unrest hampered this, he added.

-With New Age input

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