Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Vigilance Committee has remained just a paper tiger

Kavalu Samithi known as Vigilance Committee, set up nearly one and half year ago has remained just a paper tiger. The committee which was supposed to monitor and keep a watch on women and children in villages especially in cases related to human trafficking, sexually harassment, missing children, begging, school dropouts and provide them appropriate protection and rehabilitation, seems to have failed in its objectives. 

With the recent busting of a gang in Mysuru involved in child trafficking, NGOs in Mysuru are demanding Government to ensure effective functioning of Vigilance Committee, and avoid such incidents happening in future. Blaming the Committee's inaction for increase in the number of cases of missing children and human trafficking, they say if the Committee was functioning effectively instances of about nearly 600 children who have gone missing from Mysuru in last couple of years could have been avoided.  

According to them, the Committee has to work in close co-ordination seeking the help of interested stake holders, NGOs, SHGs, elected representatives, youth clubs and even common people so they can strictly monitor any developments in villages related to women and children. Anganwadi workers who are appointed as Supervisors for the committee should be alert round the clock and save innocent children abducted into human trafficking. 

Speaking to Express, founder of Odanadi Organisation, Parashu said  : 'No meetings has been held by the Committee and no one is ready to take responsibility. There are no exact figures of number of school dropouts, of those migrated, begging children and child marriages being happening. Poor women who don't have social protection become easy victims. A special drive should be undertaken to protect and educate ignorant pregnant women who can be easily targeted and lured to sell their children.'
In addition to this, there is also a need of creating a civic sense among the masses. If any child is found begging on the streets, the citizens should immediately call up either the NGOs or Juvenile Home and ensure that the child is handed over to the concerned welfare Dept of the Government. Such children are mostly sighted near traffic circles,  he added. 

PP Baburaj, former member of Juvenile Justice Board said that 'Zilla Panchayat CEO should be held responsible as he has to monitor and ensure that every Gram Panchayat has a committee. Information of every child has to be protected by the anti-child and women trafficking committee. On the lines of Child Task Force in Davangere there is need for the effective functioning of the Committee. Its sad that no officers are bothered about the protection of children while showing false works on papers.'  

'Instances of trafficking of women and children is on the rise and everyone has to be vigilant and observe suspicious activities of people in the villages. If a family migrates to other districts, the committee has to bring to the notice of the committee in the respective district, thus protecting the interest of the children. But no such works are being done. By strict vigilance officials can keep an track on every child, and ensure no children goes missing', opines Sandha, child activist.  

Women and Child Welfare Deputy Director K Radha said that after the child trafficking incident in Nanjangud, several programmes are being organised by the department to protect children. 'Vigilance Committee supervisors have been asked to report about the meetings held and to be active. Thotilu Programme has been launched to create awareness among public to drop children in the cradle and severe punishments against those engaged in human trafficking. 

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