Published: 22nd May 2018
Youngsters in Mumbai are going missing over the fear of exams, reveals RTI investigation
The data provided by the police also showed that while the number of missing people in the city was on the rise, the number of those found went down
Nearly half of the people reported missing in Mumbai every year are in the age group of 16 to 25 years, the Mumbai Police has said in reply to an RTI query.
Also, there has been a rise every year in the number of people going missing in the metropolis, Mumbai Crime Branch's Assistant Police Commissioner (Preventive) Bharat Gaikwad said in response to an application filed by city-based RTI activist Chetan Kothari.
A total of 32,598 people were reported missing from Mumbai in 2014, 2015 and 2016, while 27,565 of them were later found, the police said.
The number of missing people also went up every year, with 10,916 reported missing in 2014, 10,313 in 2015 and 11,369 in 2016, the reply said.
A year-wise tabulation of the figures showed that about 50 percent of the missing people (in these three years) were in the 16 to 25 years age group, followed by those in the 26 to 40 years age bracket.
Vijay Vaidya, a former journalist and social activist, who helps in tracing missing persons, said 16 to 25 years was a "sensitive" age group when people have a lot of aspirations in life and take decisions emotionally.
"Most of the girls and boys run away from their homes over the fear of not doing well in exams. A big number of the youngsters have aspirations, like to get into acting or do something bigger in life. This is a very sensitive age group where people make decisions emotionally," he said.
Around 10,605 people (97 percent of the total reported missing) were found in 2014, 9,375 (90 per cent) in 2015 and 7,585 (66 per cent) in 2016.
Besides, out of the total missing people, 34 were found dead in 2014, 45 in 2015 and 38 in 2016, the reply said.
The Mumbai Police's centralised branch, called the Missing Person Bureau, deals with such cases, irrespective of the place from where the person is missing in the country.