NGO urges child protection body in Uttar Pradesh


Lucknow : Saksham Foundation, a voluntary organisation committed to assertion of child rights, has urged the Uttar Pradesh government to set up a child protection body in the state.

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In a petition to Chief Minister Mayawati, Saksham Foundation (SF) chief Anjali Singh has cited several glaring cases of abuse and exploitation of children.

“The number of victims of this nature are on the rise and the attackers invariably escape the law, either because of indifference or connivance by the police,” said the petition.

Demanding the setting up of a Child Protection Unit to work as an intervention machinery to address such cases on behalf of the victims, SF has also sought that such a unit be empowered to solicit police and legal action.

It also appealed to the state government to take necessary steps to make police stations “child friendly” and to sensitise cops about child rights as well as the Juvenile Justice Act and Convention of the Rights of the Child – an internationally accepted document that has 54 provisions to protect the rights of the child.

Among the recent cases cited were that of 13-year-old Naura Khatoon who in September last was found dead and her friend, seven-year-old Noor Bano, who was found lying unconscious on the railway tracks near Manak Nagar with her hands amputated and knife wounds and burn marks on her body.

Both slum-dwellers went missing in September and when their families approached the police, they were driven away by the station house officer of Krishnanagar police station. Even after almost four months and much media battering, no police action has been initiated.

In May 2005, 13-year-old Zahira (name changed), a rag picker was abducted by some young brats and brutally gang-raped for hours together and then thrown in front of the Aashiana police station. The well-connected accused succeeded in taking refuge as juveniles and their case was being tried in Juvenile Courts. Zahira has been forced to live away from her parents for four years on account of threat to her life.

In October last, 11-year-old Renu was brutally battered by her employer, a doctor of Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences here. While a case against the doctor was registered under the Prevention of Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act 1986, the doctor has still not been arrested. No criminal case has been filed against the doctor despite the fact that she seriously injured the child.

Terming these cases as just the tip of the iceberg, the petition points out: “Promises have been made several times in the past to set up a protection unit to fight against the attacks on children in Uttar Pradesh but nothing concrete has been done so far.”