UP govt promises to look into child abuse victims’ plight | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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UP govt promises to look into child abuse victims’ plight

The minister discussed welfare schemes for women and children after the audience raised the issue.

lucknow Updated: May 15, 2017 17:01 IST
Gaurav Saigal
Health minister Siddharth Nath Singh and Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari taking questions on the issue during an interactive session.
Health minister Siddharth Nath Singh and Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari taking questions on the issue during an interactive session. (HT Photo)

The Uttar Pradesh government has promised to look into the plight of child abuse victims.

Health minister Siddharthnath Singh said at the HT Woman Awards-2017 (held on the theme of child sexual abuse) that in future, he would make such children sit with him on stage in his programmes . “I shall make such kids sit with me on the stage and raise the issue,” Singh said .

Singh, along with MP and Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari ,also took questions in the interactive session. On being asked by the audience whether this would become a protocol, the minister replied, “As the government is sensitive, so are ministers and I don’t think there is a need for any government order on this.”

“The day I took over as minister, I got hooter and beacon removed from my vehicle and others followed it. I believe this (standing by child abuse victims) will also be followed but some one has to take the first step towards highlighting the issue ,” he said, adding it was he who would take that first step.

The audience at HT Woman Award 2017 ceremony organised at Vivanta by Taj in Lucknow on Sunday. (Deepak Gupta/ HT Photo)

The minister also wanted to know if there was a list of such victims . He said if the victims wanted to share their plight they could do so during his public programmes.

Read more| HT Woman Awards: Pride, pain and a promise

The minister discussed welfare schemes for women and children after the audience raised the issue. “I can openly say that the benefit of Janani Suraksha Yojna (JSY) is not reaching the beneficiaries . Sometimes the family keeps the money and often it does not reach the beneficiary at all,” he said, adding: “This is why we have planned to link it with Aadhar number of the beneficiary to stop cheating.”

Money under JSY is provided to ensure that the mother gets nutrition to be able to take care of the child but reports suggest the money is taken away by the family. So the basic purpose of the scheme is not met. Under direct benefit transfer (DBT), the amount will go into the bank account of the mother.

The minister pointed out similar cheating in the mid day meal scheme for students wherein the funds sanctioned were not utilised properly. Singh said this scheme would also be linked under DBT but at present it was being discussed whether or not it would affect school attendance .

“A major benefit of giving mid day meal was that parents started sending their wards to school,” he said.

Sportspersons present in the audience raised the issue of poor funding for players. They said sportspersons needed nutrition and lack of funds was an obstacle. Siddharthnath Singh said though there was a limited budget in sports, the government would definitely consider if sponsors associated with sports could be given better tax benefit than the existing .

“The total budget of Uttar Pradesh is roughly R6 lakh crore and each department has a share of a few per cent. I would appreciate it if more sponsors join the sports sector. I will see how a good sponsor can get better tax benefit,” he said, adding: “Cricket and hockey get all facilities but other sports like wrestling and boxing should also be promoted .”

He said that the government was taking swift action against offenders and the case from Unnao where a doctor and nurse were suspended for demanding money from a woman was an example. Hence, reporting of misdeeds was also important.

On the issue of giving relaxation to mothers in ‘child care leave’, Manoj Tiwari and Siddharthnath Singh said they would take up the matter with the government.

Read more: Speak up, shame culprits of child sexual abuse, says Siddharth Nath Singh