West Bengal: Child marriages, trafficking continue amid crises; helpline launched

Kolkata, Jun 2 (PTI) Following reports that child marriages and trafficking have taken place in the state amid the crises of COVID-19 and Cyclone Amphan, the West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights (WBCPCR) has launched a helpline to address the matters, a senior official said on Tuesday.

The WBCPCR has set up an exclusive desk to address issues related to child marriage and trafficking after reports of such crimes came from places such as South 24 Parganas district and the Sundarbans in the past few weeks, he said.

'In case of any complaint, information or news, related people can reach out to the Commission on 9830056006 or 9836078780. A WhatsApp Helpline number (9836300300) has been also launched,' a statement released the WBCPCR said.

When contacted, state Women & Child Development and Social Welfare Department secretary Sanghamitra Ghosh said it is a precautionary measure to keep a check on such delicate issues.

'We are in the middle of two crises. Such matters surface during these types of crisis and we are trying to raise the awareness level of people. It's a standard operating protocol procedure,' Ghosh told PTI.

West Bengal Chief Minister during a meeting held at Kakdwip in South 24 Parganas district on May 23 had asked police to keep a check on women trafficking and a probable increase in criminal activities there. PTI SCH NN NN