The idea is the brainchild of Shashank Singh who was almost kidnapped at a very young age. The kidnapping wasn’t successful because of an active bystander and Shashank’s intervention. But not every child is as lucky as Shashank.
You take several photos every day. Now you can take photos for a cause. You see so many kids around you on the streets. You simply have to take photos of these kids by using our app and they will automatically get uploaded in our system,” says Amol Gupta, co-founder of Helping Faceless.
You need to login with your Facebook account to access the app. Once you have access, either you can click a new picture of the child you came across or you can match the kid with the already existing photos in the application.
“The more people use it, the better will be the chances to identify the kids,” says Gupta. ‘Helping Faceless’ has also come up with a WhatsApp group where people can share the information about the kids along with their photos.
“Since many people might not be interested in downloading the app or might not have a phone that supports it, they can use Facebook to upload photos of the missing kids. Our volunteers will take the authentic photos from there and upload it on the app,” says Shashank.
Our volunteer saw a kid sleeping near the railway track and he looked weak and hungry. She clicked his photo and shared it with me. We immediately contacted the police for an intervention and when we met him, we found out that his family stayed nearby. He had told them that he was going to attend school but had run away from his home instead,” recalls Shashank.
They approached the kid and found out that he had run away from home. His home was in a nearby locality, they searched for his parents, counselled them and paid a few more visits to make sure the kid is safe.
The app has been downloaded by almost 5,000 users but due to less contributors it becomes difficult to make new photographs available. Obviously, it will only be by partnering with more NGOs and asking more people to contribute that ‘Helping Faceless’ will become more effective.
They dream of making ‘Helping Faceless’ huge. They want to take this app to other countries and track the patterns. This will definitely help in tackling human trafficking.
“If we get a good database, we will be able to trace where most of the kids come from, where do they go, what do they do, etc. Tracking the pattern in which kids go missing will make later searches easy,” says Gupta.
For more information, check their website and facebook page. Click and contribute.