Children would soon get a platform to raise their voice against abusive teachers and parents.
The Finance Ministry on Monday approved the Integrated Child Protection Scheme that would help set up child protection units in every district of the country. “Every children from the streets to posh homes will have a right to lodge complaints against anyone who abuses their rights with the child protection unit,” a Women and Child Development ministry official said.
The ministry will administer the scheme all over the country from the coming financial year. The government has already allocated Rs 200 crore in the budget for implementing the country’s first ever and most comprehensive child right scheme. In the 11th-five year plan the government will spend Rs 1,263 crore on the scheme.
However, the spirit of the scheme lies in establishing child protection units in each district. The children would be able to contact the unit directly or through a 24-hour child helpline. The unit will have powers to summon those against whom the complaint has been lodged and recommend action to the government, if the complaint is found to be true.
All juvenile homes, shelters for children and child adoption centres will also come under the purview of the unit. “It would be a body to administer all schemes related to child rights,” the WCD ministry official added. To ensure the scheme actually takes off, the Central government has decided to fund 75 per cent of the project cost for all states expect Jammu and Kashmir and North Eastern states, where the Centre’s share would be 90 per cent. In case of projects of individual NGOs, the ministry will bear 90 per cent of the bill.
The scheme would be launched everywhere simultaneously contrary to the earlier decision of introducing the scheme only at five states. The ministry expects to get the Cabinet approval in a month.