While the district legal authority, in collaboration with the NGO Save the Children, organised a seminar on child rights here on Tuesday, it had little meaning for the two minor boys who have been working here like many others of their age.
The seminar was attended by deputy commissioner Pravin Kumar Thind, sessions judge JS Khushdil and other legal luminaries. The idea behind it was to create awareness regarding sexual offences committed against children and women.
But it was an ordinary day for the 12-year-old boy who sells cigarettes just outside the deputy commissioner's office.
The other boy, who is 14 has been working with a restaurant here for two years. "When I was in school, a teacher would mercilessly beat me up in class. So I left the school and joined the restaurant," says the boy, whose family migrated from UP.
Ironically, both these cases were found to be operating close to the judicial court complex that houses offices of the deputy commissioner and sessions judge.
There are many children in Mansa working illegally in shops and other places. However, there was no mention of these children in the seminar.
"We need to create awareness among people and it is one of a series of seminars we will conduct throughout the district to curb violence against women and children," said Thind.
Members of the NGO discussed various aspects of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, and stressed that their volunteers would cooperate with the local authorities to ensure that such crimes against women and children were brought to notice.