How do you feel if you come to know about the pregnancy of under-aged girls or a large number of girl children had been affected by COVID19?
This had happened in Kanpur Shelter home in Uttar pradesh. Certainly you are feeling bad & I am too. Do you want to get data of what actually happened to those minor girls?
Lets go below —
- 57 girls were found COVID+ve.(On 17th June-33 nos, On 19th June-16 nos & on 20th June-8 new cases)
2. 7 minor girls had been found pregnant.
As I have worked with both CCL(child in conflict with Law) & CNCP(child in need of care & protection in different organization, I felt to start my today’s blog with this topic. Before analyzing & highlighting on the issue lets go through our Child rights & protection mechanism.
Brief of UNCRC & ICPS & administrative set up:-
India ratified UNCRC(United Nations Convention On the Rights Of Child) on 11 Dec,1992 which reflects through a human rights treaty & setting of rights of a child in respect of Civil,political,Economical,social,health & cultural .
In india, according to the CRC(UNCRC) an human under the age of 18 is being considered as a child. Emphasizing on Child protection & care, Govt of India implemented ICPS scheme(Integrated child protection scheme) on 2009. It is administered from national level to the Village level.
- At the national level— 1.Child Line India Foundation(an Ngo) 2. NIPCCD(National Institute of public coopration & Child Development). 3. CARA(Central Adoption Resource Authority)
- At the State Level—– 1.State Child Protection Committee. 2.SARA(State Adoption Resource Agency)
- At the District Level-—- 1.District Child Protection Committee(DCPS) 2.Sponsorship & Foster Care Approval committee
- At the Village Level— 1.BLCPC(Block level child protection committee . 2. VLCPC(Village level child protection committee.
Why I have mentioned all these it will be easier for us to understand the protection mechanism from National to Village level. Now Statutory mechanism under the Juvenile Justice (care & protection )Act’2000 are—
(A) Child Welfare Committee(CWC)– It deals with the CNCP Children & is the final authority in disposing of cases in regard of care, protection& treatment of the child.
(B) JJB(Juvenile Justice Board)– deals with the child in conflict with law & they are sole authority in sending a child to observation home or providing bail in the case.
(C)SJPUS(Special Juvenile police units)– is established in every district to coordinate the police interface/ interaction with the children.
Under ICPS scheme these shelter homes,observation homes/after care homes are run both Govt & Ngo(under Govt–Civil society partnership ).
In ICPS recent trends & emphasizes are on shifting service from Institutional to Non-Institutional services. A child turns to CNCP or CCL due to family conflict or the environment where he/she was living. Economic hardship here also acts as a major causative factor. Still It is fact that child can be secure & nurture well in his/her family. That’s why Non institutional services(for e.g-Adoption,Foster care etc) are getting priority for the sake of child’s best interest.
While working in both an observation home & orphanage, I have realized one fact that the child becomes first CNCP(Child in need & protection)& then turns to CCL(Child in conflict in law). This means–
- Failure of our society or Govt to recognize & fact finding regarding the needs of that child at appropriate time
- Absence of will or step towards prevention of that child from being a CCL by providing means to solve his problems.. What had happened in the Kanpur shelter home is really a matter of shame & it needs some issues to be addressed like-
1. Why the authority did n’t come to know about their pregnancy where health check up is an regular & important aspect at any home.. 2. What was the Individual care plan? Had it been planned & documented?
3. What was the phases of coordination between the In-charge of that home & other statutory bodies like– CWC or administrative body -DCPS which usually monitor by making a visit to the organization.
4. Was there any Home Management meeting at all?
5. Why they have been allowed to stay together instead of arranging for isolation when found Covid+ve.
6. What was the step of Po(probationary officer , Institutional)regarding this?
7. Is step taken for lodging complain under POCSO ACT(Protection of Children from Sexual offences)’2012
8. Immediately step from the state level should be taken to find out the deficiency or missing part in the service delivery system because that home showed inability to protect those children from care & protection. Violation of child rights should be treated as serious offence.
In this regard, cases of an shelter home in Bihar is coming to my mind where no of minor girls had been found raped . According to art 39 of UNCRC– Children & Young People have the right to be recover from difficult situations(like- Sexual violence,neglect,abuse,torture etc) & There should n’t be any discrimination regarding receiving of help. Art 39(f) of our constitution also emphasize protection of child & youth against exploitation. If safety net will be broken then how we would ensure their safe life? In ICPS scheme, budget had been increased in 2019–2020 to INR 1500 crore from INR 725 crore of 2018-2019. In spite of this, immediate steps should be taken regarding the followings–
1. Selection & training(of staff) of Civil society organization-— In selection strict step should be followed & it is mandatory for the Ngo’s to have infrastructure or resources to carry on the program till they receive their next Grants. Proper training should be provided at all levels at regular interval. They should remember its n’t a profit making center.
2. Salary of staff of Civil society organization should be paid Monthly on a regular basis. State should take this issue seriously because staff who are working even 24×7 basis, get their salary after every three or four months. Person who looks after the welfare & takes care thus can’t take care of him or his family. They have to render service with a frustration & tension within self. So how can you expect excellent service when you are incapable to provide happiness & welfare of the staff.
3. Though not in every organization but it happens that Selection of staff is n’t done in a proper way. Where Connectivity, familiarity, polarization exists, there rendering service at the professional level might be difficult.
I was just taken aback by the fact of not knowing properly about the basic difference of Child rights & Child protection by the staff at the higher administrative level. Through out the sector there exists lack of transparency.
Children are the backbone of our nation that we know but what we forget is having a goodwill to solve these problem . It can’t be neglected otherwise in forthcoming days no of CNCP turned CCL will be increased & thus will be anti social activities too. This might be a barrier in the progress of our nation in future.