Anjali had left home in July 2017 in search of work and was later lodged at a rescue home in Tezpur, Assam.

Assam girl reunites with family thanks to Telangana cops facial recognition software
news Technology Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - 18:15

Emotional scenes were witnessed outside the children’s home in Assam’s Tezpur on Sunday, as 16-year-old Anjali Tigga met her mother after a year and a half. Anjali, who left home on July 1, 2017, was finally reunited with her family after 17 long months, all thanks to the Telangana police’s indigenously built facial recognition software ‘Darpan’.

Speaking to TNM, Swati Lakra, Inspector General of Women Safety wing, says that the case is another feather in the Telangana police’s cap, as it is for the first time that the software has enabled a family outside Telangana to reunite with their loved ones.

Darpan, launched by the Telangana police in August this year, has a unique feature of matching photographs of children who are missing, with those of children who are lodged at various child rescue homes across the country, resulting in the detection of missing children.

“Till date, the software had only been successful in helping the police department in tracing children within the state. But now for the first time, Darpan has helped trace a child to as far as Assam, without any human intervention,” Swati Lakra says.

Anjali, who was working as a labourer at a tea plantation at Lakhimpur in Assam’s Boginodi, left home in July 2017 for Delhi in search of work, without telling her parents. After working for a few months in the city, she returned to Assam. But fearing the wrath of her parents, Anjali stayed back at Sonitpur where she was spotted by the Railway Police and handed over to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) who admitted her in a children’s home at Tezpur.

“Meanwhile, the Telangana police had been constantly updating pictures of missing children available on the ‘Track the Missing Children’ web site, along with data from the Central Women and Children Welfare ministry. During one such exercise, the software matched the picture of Anjali Digga from the data that was collected from the rescue home in Sonitpur with the missing complaint that was filed in Boginodi,” Lakra explains.

As the police fetched more clues, they subsequently informed Anjali’s parents in Lakhimpur about their missing daughter. Her parents lost no time in travelling to Tezpur and were reunited with their daughter after 17 months at the rescue home in Tezpur.

“This is not the first case, but definitely it boosts our morale considering the efficiency of the software in serving its purpose. Many more photographs are matched and verification is underway to identify these children and reunite them with their families,” Lakra added.

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