The Andhra Pradesh Police rescued as many as 16,457 street children and orphans in less than a week under Operation Muskaan.
According to reports, the rescued children, who were mostly working as labourers and beggars, were rehabilitated and were also screened for COVID-19.
Detailing about the initiative, AP DGP Gautam Sawang said that the police department implemented it for 10 days to find out the missing children across the state and formed 794 teams for the purpose.
It conducted rescue operations in coordination with Child-Line, Child Welfare Committee (CWC), and District Child Protection departments at all railway stations, bus stations, parks, hotels, and rescued orphans and children who had fled from their homes.
During the operation, a total of 16,457 children were rescued of which 13,588 are boys and the rest 2,869 are girls, reported India Today.
Reports also pointed out that 76 percent of the children were in the group of 11 to 15 years and 21 percent of them are in the group of 6 to 10 years. While a few of them were reunited with their family members, others were sent to child care centres for further counselling.
EdExLive reported that as at least 631 rescued children amazon the 2,195 tested from a total of over 16000 children have tested positive for COVID-19.
Operation Muskaan is being conducted in phases by the police department, the AP Police have already conducted three phases this year starting from January and rescued a total of 25,298 children in the state.