GUWAHATI, Aug 16 - Although 60 child labourers were rescued from various areas of the city in the last six months by its activists, the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) has alleged that police have registered only two cases, despite child labour being a cognizable offence.
Members of the BBA have expressed serious displeasure over the plight of child care institutions across the country, including other organs of the machinery that work for protection and rehabilitation of children in distress.
Talking to mediapersons here on Friday, Dr Sampurna Behura, director (programme), said that despite specific guidelines issued by the Supreme Court over child protection and rehabilitation, the State governments have failed to comply with them.
Referring to shocking revelations related to shelter homes in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, Dr Behura, said, “It is very unfortunate that most of the Juvenile Justice Boards (JJBs) and the Child Welfare Committees (CWC) are functioning without adequate manpower and facilities. All shelter homes must be frequently visited to ensure that the rules are not flouted.”
“The biggest problem is that the people associated with child care and protection are themselves not aware of the laws. They lack proper training,” she said.
Rakesh Senger of BBA stressed the need for capacity building of various stakeholders mandated to ensure child protection and care.
“Despite constituting 47 per cent of the total population, children in India are still deprived of their rights. Is that because they do not have voting rights?” Senger asked.
He also insisted on time-bound utilisation of funds released by the Centre by the agencies concerned.