Saturday, March 8, 2014

NCPCR to help schoolkids grab a bite

NCPCR to help schoolkids grab a bite

Sunday, 22 September 2013 | PNS | Ranchi | in Ranchi

Upset with irregular distribution of mid-day meals in schools of Jharkhand, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has decided to open a helpline in every district.
It will also strengthen coordination among various departments working for ensuring child rights. “During our survey, women preparing meals in schools told us they are provided only rice and wheat. For the rest, they rely on purchases from the market. They also told us that meals are usually not provided in time,” NCPCR member Yogesh Dubey told mediapersons on Saturday.
He added, “The Deputy Commissioner will review progress if this helpline through school management committees and panchayati raj institutions in districts. Our prime focus is to provide quality life to tribal children in terms of education and basic needs in Naxal-affected areas.” NCPCR has also found that provisions under the Right to Education (RTE) and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act are not being properly followed. “Our State representatives will soon survey the number of school dropouts in each district,” said Dubey.
On another burning issue, he said, “Most domestic labourers in Delhi, National Capital Region and Mumbai belong to Jharkhand, Bihar and Chhattisgarh. Children among them are often exploited. We are putting in our best efforts to stop this by strengthening the district task force.” In three months, NCPCR will prepare a survey on child labour, with help from universities and NGOs. “The State mining department failed to give us exact data of licences to brick kiln workers — including those from Jharkhand, Bihar and Chhattisgarh. From now, the labour department will have to submit a report on child survey to NCPCR,” said Dubey.
The rights panel member visited a probation home in Namkum and observed that the Juvenile Justice Act and RTE were not being followed. According to Dubey, many districts don’t even have correctional homes. He pointed out, “This correctional home should ideally work under the social welfare, women & child development department, but unfortunately, it is working under the home department here, leading to gross violation of child rights. Juvenile delinquents are devoid of rehabilitation. It’s the same with differently-abled children.”
Noticing malnutrition symptoms among 300-400 children and families working in brick kilns in about 17-18 districts, NCPCR has also decided to extend anganwadi centres. The NCPCR member had been visiting Jharkhand frequently for the past month and also held a public hearing on child rights in various districts. Last month, he had attended public hearings in Koderma and Khunti. This time, he interacted with children of Dhanbad, Giridih and Bokaro. Dubey is likely to visit Jharkhand on November 11 again, for public hearings in Deoghar and Dumka.

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