A former police officer who inspired Prayas, an NGO en-gaged in the task of rehablitating the destitute and street children, is now the head of the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights. The commission responsible for curbing and preventing child abuse. HT caught up with Kanth about the commission. Some excerpts:
What is DCPCR’s mandate? How is it different from other commissions?
The Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights has been instituted to safeguard the rights of the city’s children against multiple violations as well as abuse and exploitation. A child’s basic need are synonymous with United Nations’ globally promised rights of survival, protection, development and participation in multiple form. The commission is mandated and functioning as a court to secure the same for all children, particularly the most deprived through plethora of programmes.
What is the administrative and legal mechanism in Delhi to address different issues pertaining to children?
The DCPCR is expected to monitor and prevent violation of children’s rights, offences committed against them and safeguard against sufferings and harm caused to them under multiple situations of abuse and exploitation. For instance, under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, competent authorities deal with the juveniles and the children in need of care and protection, are listed out. Now, for the first time in Delhi, nine additional sessions judges have been appointed for children’s courts.
What is being done by the DCPCR to protect children in particularly difficult circumstances, such as, destitute, begging and working children?
In an effort to reach out and support such children, the commission has held a dozen intensive consultations with policy makers, authorities, NGOs and experts, and a plan of action has been drawn up. Painstakingly prepared programmes for the homeless, begging and working children, however, are yet to convert on the ground by the government. Recently, the commission took up the cases of the small
children with working mothers on the Commonwealth Games’ sites.
How has DCPCR taken up the implementation of Right to Education Act, 2009, in Delhi?
Under the education act, which was enforced on April 1, 2010, the commission’s first-ever initiative was to set up an ‘alert action mechanism’ with a helpline (011-23862686) and a dedicated unit at Kashmere Gate, ISBT Building, Delhi. The Commission has taken up cases of nearly 10,500 marginalised children through legal proceedings while admitting nearly 1,500 of them into various schools.