The newly appointed chairperson of the Uttarakhand State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (USCPCR) has demanded that a directorate be set up with divisions dealing with children, women, and the disabled to ensure quick disposal of cases. In a letter written last week to chief minister TS Rawat, USCPCR chairperson Usha Negi said overlapping of functions of commissions, committees and departments should be avoided to expedite delivery of benefits to people. “I have written to the CM demanding establishment of a directorate. Whether social welfare or women and child welfare or other commissions, all should be placed under one umbrella, so we could benefit people,” said Negi who joined office on Monday. Among her priories is ending the practice of engaging children as labourers, ragpickers and beggars. She plans to conduct a survey to get to know the number of child labourers, beggars and ragpickers in the state. “The social welfare department does not have statistics; we aim at working on that as a first step. Unless we have a comprehensive data of children on streets or working as labourers, we cannot understand the intensity of the issue,” she said. Negi said issues of poor child sex ratio and malnutrition would be reviewed, and the status of children at government homes monitored. “Incidents have been reported pertaining to saddening state of children at the government shelter homes. It won’t be tolerated. I will review the situation and ensure safe havens for children,” she said. Negi plans to write to the CM, seeking setting up of a widow home in Haridwar, like that of Vrindavan, to make them independent. Widows are a neglected lot; instead of training them to become self-sustaining, the government is merely providing them pensions that disallow their growth, she said. “Why can’t we train them to become independent? If the government sets up a home in Haridwar, we can train hundreds of widows who can then work in the mainstream. This workforce will mean a lot to our state. Their inspiring stories will benefit others too,” Negi said. BJP leaders upsetUsha Negi’s appointment has not gone well with many BJP leaders who are still awaiting ministerial responsibilities, party sources said. She is believed to be close to the Congress government, but her association with chief minister Rawat is also known. The sources said many in the BJP were hopeful of getting the USCPCR chairperson post.