Skip to main content

Integrated Child Protection Scheme fails to take off, children falling prey to petty crimes remain neglected

By Our Representative
A recent workshop, held under the auspices of the Dalit Hak Rakshak Manch (DHRM), an Ahmedabad-based NGO working on child rights issues, has found that the Gujarat government is showing "gross indifference" towards the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS), a Government of India scheme floated in 2009 for the vulnerable sections of children, who, finding themselves in certain special conditions, are victims of abuse, neglect, exploitation, abandonment and separation from family.
Referring to a Government of Gujarat presentation before the Union ministry of woman and child, DHRM workshop stated that the state government could not even spend the pittance, Rs 6.41 crore, sanctioned to it for the purpose. Whatever grants were demanded were for staff. As for the ICPS' actual functioning, which would require activation of different schemes, these have remained on paper. Analyzing different heads under which the state government should implement ICPS, which operates under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000, amended in 2006, the workshop found that a state support project unit had been set up to create ICPS structures all over the state. However, “while the government demanded funds for setting up the unit, it did not demand any funds to create awareness which is the necessary part of the unit's work. The result was, out of Rs 19 lakh sanctioned, Rs 12 lakh remained untilised last year”.
Further, while as many as 26 district support units have been set up, there is no inkling towards ensuring that these function in their true letter and spirit. Thus, of the 26 units, only three are functioning Vadodara, Kheda and Narmada districts. As for the rest, they are non-functional because of lack of staff. As a result, out of Rs 2.09 crore sanctioned, a whopping Rs 1.19 crore remained unutilised. “There was bi demand for grants from the Government of India for capacity building, advocacy and awareness”, the workshop said.
The situation was found to be very similar with regard to other programmes under ICPS. Thus, while a state adoption resource agency was set up, grants were demanded for staff, but nothing for creating awareness campaign. The result was, out of Rs 5.38 lakh grant, Rs 3.48 lakh remained unutilized. Then, as against Rs 45.8 lakh for specialised adoption agency, Rs 23.78 lakh, again meant for things other than staff salaries, remained untilised.
Further, juvenile boards were set up in all the 26 districts, but no meetings of the boards have so far been held in districts. Worse, in rest of the districts, not more than one meeting has been held. The result is, of the Rs 16 lakh sanctioned for proper functioning of these boards, the government could spend merely 0.78 lakh. The workshop said that as many as 3,930 cases are pending with these district boards. “How it is going to dispose of the rest is a big question”, the workshop wondered. Then, out of Rs 22 lakh sanctioned for child welfare committees, just about Rs 3.96 lakh were utilised, as the committees did not function, with 323 cases remaining pending.
Coming to the juvenile homes, the workshop found that most of them remain non-functional. “The government has converted each of these homes into children homes. However, it is not clear where to keep children from the observation homes. This is because the government just forgot to demand from the Government of India grants for starting new observation homes”, the workshop said, underscoring, “Our study found that Kutch-Saurashtra's seven out of eight district observation homes were converted into children homes. The result is, children from all the districts are brought to Rajkot, where alone an observation home functions.”
“This has resulted in a strange predicament”, the workshop said. “A teenager who was caught for thieving a motorbike in Gandhidham in Kutch district is kept in Rajkot, which is hundreds of kilometres away, to remain in the observation home. However, at the time of hearing, the boy is transported all the way to Gandhidham, and again brought back to Rajkot and kept in confinement there. Ordinarily he should have got bail in the matter at Gandhidham itself. But this is not done”, the workshop said.
Participating in the workshop, senior sociologist Gaurang Jahi said, “It has generally been found that the teenagers who are involved in different types of crimes come from vulnerable sections of population – Dalits, tribals, OBCs and backward sections of Muslims. There is a need to find out why this is so. Many of these vulnerable sections, mainly tribals, come to Ahmedabad with their parents to work in construction and other hazardous jobs. Then there are young girls who are pushed into prostitution. There is no policy to take care of their health, educational, security and psychological needs.”

Comments

Anuja Kastia Shah said…
Not setting proper implementation system for ICPS and not taking up adequate measures in direction of ensuring child protection for children talks about the political will of Government of Gujarat. The utilization figures are extremely low which truly reflects how little work has been carried out in the last couple of years.

TRENDING

Impact of state repression? Kashmir's 65% people prefer independence: Cambridge study

By Rajiv Shah 
Even as the Government of India’s controversial move to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) into two union territories is not only refusing to down die but has acquired international dimensions, a recent study, published by the Cambridge University Press, has claimed “pro-independence attitudes” among that 65% of Kashmiris, warning, this sentiment worsens when the state machinery resorts “repressive violence”.

Dholera 'inundated': Gujarat govt tries selling low lying area as top smart city site

Counterview Desk
Even as the Dholera Special Investment Region Regional Development Authority (DSIRDA) of the Gujarat government was busy organising a junket for Gujarat-based journalists for the area sought to be sold as an ideal special investment region (SIR) for industrialists, well-known farmers' activist Sagar Rabari has wondered why no investor has so far agreed to put in money in an area situated in Ahmedabad district along the Gulf of Khambhat.

Congress' anti-democratic laws led to Modi govt's 'Constitutional' changes: Scholars

Counterview Desk
A large number of academics* said to be belonging to several Indian and international institutions, even as taking strong exception to the Narendra Modi government's alleged move to amend the Constitution through "illegitimate" means, have taken strong exception to their colleagues in academia who we have become "all too accustomed to adopting a calculated silence in the face of such indignities."

Hindus to be 'sent' to Kashmir? Despite Israeli settlements, peace eludes the region

By Anand K Sahay*
Curfew, news and communications blackout, transportation shut-down... News reports from Kashmir are worrying. So are the views relayed through the media, especially television. Old-fashioned repression seems to be consorting comfortably with expressions of concern “for our Kashmiri brethren”. We are looking at Orwell’s 1984 in the making.

Kashmir normal? Schoolboys, teenagers being arbitrarily picked up, detained: Report

Counterview Desk
A four-person team, consisting of Jean Dr├Ęze, well-known development economist; Kavita Krishnan, who is with the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist); Maimoona Mollah of the All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA); and Vimal Bhai of the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), back from a five-day fact-finding mission (August 9-13) from Kashmir, has said that people they spoke to “expressed their pain, anger, and sense of betrayal against the Government of India.”
In a report, “Kashmir Caged”, released along with a short eight-minute film, they said, the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A, dissolution of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), and bifurcating it into two Union Territories, is not being supported by anyone they met, except for BJP spokesperson on Kashmir affairs Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, who claimed 46% vote share in J&K.
Excerpts from the report: When our flight landed, and the airlines staff announced that passeng…

Modi's Gujarati mind? Why govt move to 'sell-off' defence PSUs isn't in national interest

By Sandeep Pandey*
The Standing Committee on Defence, 2017-18, of the 16th Lok Sabha highlights the idea of Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured). The Committee expressed concern over the import content of equipments produced and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Ordnance Factories (OFs) and defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) because of the dependence it creates for military hardware on foreign suppliers.

Central Gujarat effluent channel 'releasing' highly polluted industrial wastewater: PM told

Counterview Desk
Senior environmentalists of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS), Vadodara, Rohit Prajapati and Krishnakant, in an open letter to the Prime Minister, the Gujarat chief minister, the Gujarat chief secretary, and senior Government of India and Gujarat government officials dealing with environment, pollution and climate change have said that the authorities’ response their pleas to take action against the leakages and flow of polluted wastewater from the effluent channels of Central Gujarat industrial areas has met with complete inertia.

Can't go to court with RTI information, rule Ahmedabad authorities: Kankaria accident

By Pankti Jog*
In a shocking reply to an application filed by me, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) authorities have said that the information provided under the Right to Information (RT) Act should be used in court or in a judicial process. The Act is known to be a major tool that enables citizens to seek certified copies of documents, records from any public authority of state and Central government within 30 days, as per provisions of the Act.

Quit India Movement 'betrayal' and dubious role of Hindu Mahasabha, RSS leaders

By Shamsul Islam*
After the recent guillotine of Article 370, Hindutva ideologue Ram Madhav, while celebrating the occasion stated that it was honouring of the sacrifices of Dr Shyam Prasad Mukherjee and thousands others who laid down their lives for its removal. It is to be noted that Dr Mukherjee was a cadre of RSS and was groomed into a Hindutva leader by another Hindutva icon, VD Savarkar.

Strategy for united struggle against Hindutva 'fascism': Ideological silence is 'no option'

By Dr Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
Electoral alliance and opportunism of national and regional political parties, neoliberal economic marginalisation and soft secular Hindutva line pandering to Hindu majoritarianism laid the foundation of Hindutva fascism in post-colonial India.