Reinforcing the Centre’s decision of a complete ban on working of children below 14 years of age in circuses, the state government has implemented a scheme for the rehabilitation of rescued children from circuses in Haryana.
State woman and child development minister Geeta Bhukkal on Friday said that the scheme had been implemented for making recommendation and guidelines for the rehabilitation of rescued children working in circuses.
The scheme aims at protecting such children from negligence, maltreatment, injury, trafficking, sexual and physical abuse of all kinds, pornography, corporal punishment, torture, exploitation, violence and degrading treatment.
"The Child Welfare Committee (CWC), surprise inspection teams and the District Child Protection Unit would be the major enforcement agencies and ensure proper implementation of the provisions of the scheme. The CWC will have authority to raid circuses at any point of time and can also recommend cancellation of approval with the consent of the deputy commissioner. The committee will visit and ensure that no child below 14 years of age is working in the circuses. It will ensure that the database of each and every child in a circus is created with details of their health check-up reports, education status and family contacts," said Bhukkal.
The CWC will also ensure that every child in a circus is provided with basic education and teachers from Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan will be deputed in the circuses for that. The CWC will shift every rescued child below 14 years of age to nearby child shelter homes. The schooling of such children will be done through open schooling up to 18 years of age. After attaining the age of 18 years, the child may be housed at an after-care home till he/she is 21 for reintegration into the society.
According to the scheme, the circus authorities must submit documents to the concerned deputy commissioner stating that no child below 14 years of age would be allowed to do any kind of income-generating activity. For children between 14 and 18 years of age, the circus administration will have to ensure basic minimum living conditions, which include sufficient living space with separate beds and cupboards and protection of privacy and security of the child.