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No psychologist, counsellor for juveniles in Gurgaon

The Child Welfare Committee and district child protection unit also does not have a woman counsellor. The post has been vacant for over a year.

gurgaon Updated: Dec 06, 2017 00:01 IST
Leena Dhankhar
Leena Dhankhar
Hindustan times
Ryan Murder,Cunsellor post vacant,CWC
The psychological assessment of juvenile accused in Ryan murder case will define if he should be tried as an adult. This is key to how the Pradhyumn murder case progresses. The hearing is due for December 6. (Sanjeev Verma/HT File Photo)

The Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) in Gurgaon had to direct the deputy commissioner to arrange for an experienced psychologist for preliminary assessment of the 16-year-old juvenile accused in Ryan school murder case due to non-availability of a psychologist in Gurgaon. The directive has again highlighted the need of a trained psychologist and a counsellor in every district.

The CBI had apprehended the Class 11 student on November 7 in connection with the murder of Pradhyumn Thakur, a Class 2 student of the Ryan International School in Bhondsi.

The juvenile’s psychological assessment will define if he should be tried as an adult. This is key to how the Pradhyumn murder case progresses. The hearing on whether the court will try the juvenile as an adult is due for December 6.

“District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) and the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) are aware that there are no a counsellors and psychologists associated with the JJ Board. The state government of Haryana conducts several training programmes emphasizing the need for councillors and psychologists but the departments have failed to act on these repeated suggestions. That is the reason the board directed the deputy commissioner to arrange a councillor in the Ryan murder case,” a board member said seeking anonymity as the official is not authorised to talk to the media.

The Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and district child protection unit (DCPU) also lacks a woman counsellor. The post has been vacant for over a year.

On an average, the CWC handles 15 to 20 cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act in Gurgaon every month and a counsellor is needed.

“The post of the counsellor has been vacant for more than a year and we are facing difficulties in counselling victims. The district administration keeps assuring us that we would get a psychologist soon, but despite the regular requests, no action has been taken,” CWC chairperson Shakuntala Dhull said.

In January this year, the district administration announced that it will make the counselling room at CWC children-friendly by painting it with it vibrant colours and adding stickers to help children feel safer and free to speak.

Also, a video conferencing facility was supposed to start to record victim’s statements.

Even after a year, the counselling room remains as it was.

State coordinator for Bal-Bigul, a Haryana Alliance on Child Right, Arijit Adhikary, said, “We have observed that there is a lack of coordination between the DCPU and CWC in most districts of Haryana making rehabilitation of extremely vulnerable children difficult.”

Additional deputy commissioner Pardeep Dhaiya said, “The wing will soon get a counsellor and it is under process.”

First Published: Dec 06, 2017 00:01 IST