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Dhaka Tribune

Missing girl returned to parents through helpline 1098

Update : 20 Apr 2013, 02:29 PM

Mim, 9, could not have felt safe anywhere other than in her mother’s lap, especially after the horrifying experience of being kidnapped and left unconscious in an unknown place.

Aparajeyo-Bangladesh, a child rights organisation run by the social welfare ministry and supported by Unicef, returned Mim to her parents yesterday morning after police rescued her the previous afternoon.

Mim told the Dhaka Tribune that she became unconscious after taking candy from a stranger on Thursday in front of her house near Mirpur Bangla College.

Kotwali police officers rescued her, at Sadarghat, a little after she had regained consciousness. They suspect the girl had been kidnapped by child traffickers, who left her there after sensing the presence of law enforcers.

Police officials called Aparajeyo-Bangladesh’s child helpline 1098 and sought its help.

Mim spent that night in the care of Aparajeyo-Bangladesh. She told its officials that her home is near the Rab camp at Mirpur. Volunteers from the organisation took her to the area yesterday morning and finally handed her over to her parents.

Volunteers at Aparajeyo-Bangladesh told the Dhaka Tribune their toll-free helpline, 1098, is still widely unknown to people, even after more than two years of its introduction. As a result most missing children cannot be returned home.

The organisation has so far rescued 432 children in the past two years after incidents were reported using the helpline.

“To report a missing child, people are requested to call 1098,” one of the volunteers said.

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