Operation Muskaan

Operation Smile, also known as Operation MUSKAAN, is a Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) project to locate and rehabilitate missing children. It is a month-long campaign in which State Police employees engage in various actions to identify and rescue missing children, and reconnect them with their families. 

As a follow-up to previous initiatives to recover/rehabilitate missing children, “Operation MUSKAAN -III” was launched in July 2017 across the country. To know more about Operation Muskaan for UPSC Prelims, keep reading below: 

The List of Government Schemes in India which have been launched for the social and economic development of the country is an integral part of the IAS exam syllabus. UPSC aspirants must thus refer to the details mentioned further below in this article. 

Operation Muskaan [UPSC Notes]:-Download PDF Here

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Operation Smile

In September 2014, the Ghaziabad Police Department in Uttar Pradesh launched this operation, which resulted in the rescue of 227 children in a month. This successful operation prompted the Central Ministry to train state police units and implement Operation Muskaan. It was a month-long campaign in which State Police officers participated in various events. This effort was carried out by police personnel trained and dispatched to various regions of the nation, to locate missing children listed in FIRs lodged at Ghaziabad police stations.

More than 100 police officers from various levels and ranks were assigned and trained for the purpose on issues such as the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, the Protection of Child Rights Act, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, relevant sections of the CrPC and IPC, and Ministry of Home Affairs Advisories, among other things.

The use of various forms of technology, such as print and media, was also influential in sharing information and locating the missing children. This trip made authorities aware that the majority of the children found homeless and living on the streets, in religious centres, and at train stations were also youngsters who had been separated from their families for various reasons. These youngsters might have gone missing for various reasons, including kidnapping, fleeing their homes owing to familial circumstances or poverty, or going missing while travelling.

Given below are the other schemes and initiatives introduced for the growth and development of children in the country:

Characteristics of Operation Muskaan

Characteristics of Operation Muskaan one should know to boost their Current Affairs knowledge: 

  • The mission’s principal goal is to find and rehabilitate the children who have gone missing.
  • Building the capacity of the Special Juvenile Police Unit (SJPU) at the district level to deal with missing children situations.
  • Bringing the activities in line with the state’s child protection efforts.
  • As part of the country’s Integrated Child Protection Scheme, improve the coordination of Social Welfare department functionaries, SJPUs, NGOs, Child Welfare Committees (CWC), and community organizations at the district level.

Activities Involved:

  • The professional staff of the police department inspects all minors living on the streets, railway stations, and other public places. They must gently obtain information from the youngster without frightening or making them feel uneasy.
  • During the operation, the respective State Police are expected to upload the data of any identified youngsters to the Ministry of Women and Child Development’s ‘Missing Child’ webpage. It is critical to retain and communicate all data, including complete information on the number of missing children cases at the intra-state and inter-state levels. Pieces on the CWCs would be written and sent to rescue teams and stakeholders.
  • When necessary, rehabilitation measures will be implemented in collaboration with other departments such as the Department of Women and Child Development, the Police, and the Labour Department. As a result, the risk of re-victimization is reduced.
  • Media, commercials, and national initiatives are also used to raise public awareness.

Outcome of the Operation

Operation Muskaan was carried out in several phases by our country’s various state police units. As a result, many missing children have been reunited with their families due to the campaign, which is an excellent success for the different state police agencies.

The Union Home Ministry also recognizes and rewards police officers from various States/UTs who have performed outstanding roles throughout the operations. Many of the rescued youngsters were working as child labourers at restaurants, garages, and homes, and some were even exploited for begging and human trafficking.

As a result, this campaign has helped limit these kid exploitations to some extent. According to reports, 19,195 children were rescued during the Operation Muskaan campaign in July 2015. In addition, 12,233 children were discovered during the July 2016 Campaign.

Operation Muskaan [UPSC Notes]:-Download PDF Here

Other related links for IAS aspirants are given in the table below:

Frequently Asked Questions on Operation Muskaan

Q 1. What was the impact of the previous campaigns of Operation Smile?

Ans. The results of previous Operation Smile campaigns were:

  • Previously, all states/UTs were urged to launch a one-month campaign dubbed “Operation Smile” in January 2015 to locate and rehabilitate missing children. Similarly, in July 2015, another dedicated effort dubbed ‘Operation Muskaan’ was started across the country.
  • Many missing children have been reunited with their families due to the campaign, which is a tremendous success by the field offices. Police Officers from various States/UTs who had played a commendable role throughout the campaign are also acknowledged and rewarded by the Union Home Ministry to urge police officers to take up such issues with sincerity and empathy.
  • According to reports, 19,195 children were found and freed from their abusive confines during the “Operation Muskan” campaign in July 2015. A total of 12,233 children were rescued during the July 2016 campaign.

Q 2. What is the aim of Operation Muskaan?

Ans. Operation Muskaan, also known as Operation Smile, aims to find missing children, rescue them, and properly rehabilitate them. It is a Ministry of Home Affairs project (MHA). The Ministry trains State wing police officers to handle the operation wisely and save the child. As a result, these children will almost certainly be reunited with their parents. In July 2017, the whole police force of the country joined Operation Muskaan- III, which was a continuation of prior or previously established preparations with this goal.

Q 3. Mention some salient points of Operation Muskaan?

Ans. Here are some salient points to note for the Operation Muskaan UPSC preparation:

  • A total of 100 police officers of all grades were educated and schooled on the subject of missing children. POCSO Act, Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, Protection of Child Right Act, relevant provisions of Cr.PC & IPC, and MHA Advisories, among others
  • The trained policemen went to different areas of the nation to find missing children connected to numerous FIRs filed at Ghaziabad police stations
  • Youngsters living in shelter houses, on train platforms, at bus stops and religious sites, and on the roadways, among other places, were among the missing children
  • Missing children’s information was also shared using print and electronic media. Parents and police officers from the separate locations reached the Ghaziabad police station to return the youngsters

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