Mumbai parents meet at Shivaji Park, demand harsher punishment for child molesters | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Mumbai parents meet at Shivaji Park, demand harsher punishment for child molesters

Organise rally to spread awareness among parents and students about sexual predators and how to keep children safe

mumbai Updated: Aug 13, 2017 22:52 IST
Parents demanded that schools should ensure that CCTV cameras are installed at vantage points, allowing parents and education department for random checks in schools and police verification of employees.
Parents demanded that schools should ensure that CCTV cameras are installed at vantage points, allowing parents and education department for random checks in schools and police verification of employees. (Representational photo )

The recent incident of a 4-year-old’s alleged sexual abuse at a Malad school has spurred parents in the city to demand better safety measures at schools and stringent punishment for perpetrators. Last week, a police complaint was registered against a peon of the Malad school for allegedly sexually assaulting the minor in the washroom between August 3 and 5.

To drive the point home, parents from various parts of the city met at Shivaji Park, Dadar, and organised a rally to spread awareness among parents and students about sexual predators and how to keep children safe. Parents demanded that schools should ensure that CCTV cameras are installed at vantage points, allowing parents and education department for random checks in schools and police verification of employees.

“Schools need to be more vigilant and must punishment culprits so that such incidents aren’t repeated and students don’t suffer,” said Anubha Sahai, member of the India Wide Parents Association.

The group has planned to hold similar marches and signature campaigns across city to reach out to maximum parents. A similar march was held by another group of parents in Pune.

Another demand the protesting parents made was that the government should frame stringent safety norms for schools. “Assessment of mental well-being of the employees at a school must be made mandatory,” said Sahai.

Educators and school management said agencies should be hired by schools to do a background check on their students.

“Today, there are many agencies who can help schools. Additionally, schools can directly approach their nearest police station for the same. Schools must also teach their children about good touch and bad touch so that children know that they must alert the elders,” said Swati Popat Vats, president, Early Childhood Association, consisting of 200 preschools and experts that has come up with some steps that schools can follow to ensure safety of students.

One of the suggestions include on how the management should act if any parent or student approaches them with a complaint about sexual abuse.