The recent abduction of 3-year-old Anant, son of Adobe CEO Naresh Gupta, has had parents around the country concerned about the well being of their own children. Read on.
Along with rising salaries amongst Indians and a better standard of living, come certain risks. In any case, irrespective of your bank balance, all children are vulnerable to kidnapping, whether for ransom or for other reasons.
There's no way to guarantee 100% safety for your children, but here are some ways in which you can reduce the chances of abduction, drastically.
Children are often easy targets. If you take a few extra precautions and make the job more difficult, chances are, a potential kidnapper will get deterred and will go of in search of an easier target - so any little precaution you take will help.
Do you take your child out to play in the park? Often parents stick to a routine and send their child out at the same time every day. Naturally, your child will go out only when his other friends are around, but if you have a baby, take her out at different times every day. Sometimes you can take her out in the mornings, other times, in the evenings. The more random your schedule for taking her out, the more difficult it will be for someone to plan an abduction - but it will not stop an unplanned kidnapping.
When sending your child out to play, avoid sending them to public places. Send them to your building garden, or if your building doesn't have one, send them to the garden of a friend's building. This is better than sending them to a public play area.
At times a kidnapper who doesn't want to create a scene may tell your child that you are calling her and ask her to accompany him. Always let your child know that you will never send a message through someone to call you, and if you are being called, you will call her yourself or will send the maid. You will never send a stranger or someone you do not know very well. You would not send a random neighbour for example, or the watchman, but you may send your maid or your sister. Be specific when giving such instructions to your child, and give examples in this manner.
If someone tries to forcibly take or lure your child away, tell your child that it is okay to create a scene and shout for help. Give him instructions on what he should say. He could loudly yell - I don't know you, where are you trying to take me. Where is my mother? Stop it and leave me alone!" and so on.
Don't give out your home address to anyone, as far as possible. Have all bills and communication sent to your office address. Or you could get a post office box, and have all communication sent there. The fewer people that have access to your home address, the better.
Always keep an eye on your child when you are in public places, and don't let go of her in crowded areas. In fact, avoid taking her in crowds as far as possible. If you take her grocery shopping, consider going to different stores at different times, or go somewhere not very close to home. Go on weekdays, at day time, when it is least likely to be crowded.