Child rights: Sheela Khare calls for strengthening Department of Social Justice

 District Child Welfare Committee (CWC) chairman Sheela Khare highlighting the role of stakeholders of child rights in congenial atmosphere to help the children speak out during any kind of abuse, stated that the Department of Social Justice at Gram Panchayat (GP) level should be strengthened in this regard.

She was speaking after inaugurating a one-day workshop on ‘Protection of children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) 2012 and allied Child rights organised by Department of Women and Child Development and District Child Protection Unit at JSS Law College in city on Friday.

She said that we have good legislations made in favour of children, but there is bad implementation. What has come as a big challenge for the Department of Child Welfare is to understand the psychology of the victim and their family. “In most cases, the family comes forward to file complaint during the first counseling, but later they refuse to divulge more details for varied reasons. It is difficult to find the reason behind the sudden change in their mindset. The stakeholders of child rights like Department of Health, NGOs, police department and child welfare units should come forward to be proactive and create conducive atmosphere to help the children speak out when they are subjected to any kind of abuse. Social Justice Department at Gram Panchayat plays a crucial role and they should be strengthened. Intensive campaign including the stakeholders will help us bring reforms,” she added

Deputy Director, Department of Women and Child Development K Radha stressed on the need to create awareness among parents to avoid admitting their wards to the hostels. In recent times there is a surge in hostels, and the rich and poor alike have been admitting their wards to hostels to escape from their responsibility. When you as a parent cannot take the responsibility of your child how can you expect your child to be protected at a hostel. Most of the working staff at women’s hostels like cook, wardens and physical education teachers is men and you cannot expect protection. When we have been a witness to so many sexual abuse cases like a father abusing his child, who should be blamed for not protecting a child? These are all very crucial things that needs to be taken care of and mothers should act in a sensitive manner on such issues, she pointed out.

 JSS Law College principal Prof Suresh, District Welfare Committee members Yadhodha, Venkatesh and District Child Protection Officer K Padma were present.

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