New facilities to accomodate rescued children

To rescue runaway children and those found stranded at railway station coming under the division, a Child Protection Committee was formed here on Tuesday.

Additional Divisional Railway Manager V. Thavamani Pandi will be the nodal officer of the committee, with Senior Divisional Engineer, Coordination, Ma.Vignavelu, Senior Divisional Commercial Manager K.P. Damodaran and Divisional Security Commissioner, Railway Protection Force I. Jones as its members.

Assistance centre

The committee will form a Children’s Assistance Centre in Salem, Erode and Coimbatore junctions that will have provision for food, four-beds, drinking water and toilet facility, where the rescued children would be accommodated before handing them over to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) in respective districts.

In case the rescued child is a girl, a woman police personnel will guard the centre. Currently, four to six children are rescued in Salem junction every month and handed over to the CWC.

A record would be maintained at the centre that have details about rescued child, time, name and age, name and identity of the person who rescued and also the details of the person or organisation to whom the child was handed over.

Members

The responsibilities of Train Ticket Examiner (TTE) and Ticket Collector (TE) is that they should keep close watch on potential child abusers loitering about the stations, watch if group of children boarded trains unaccompanied by any male members or children hiding or shifting from one coach to others frequently.

A station level committee was formed for the Salem junction with Station Manager as the Nodal Officer.

Members include, Station House Officer of Government Railway Police, Inspector of Railway Protection Force, Chief Ticket Inspector, Senior Section Engineer, Works would be the members.

The committee would also have passengers, vendors, autorickshaw and taxi drivers, public spirited citizens and porters as its members as they play an important role in the rescue of the children.

Procedure

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has framed a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that outlines the role of TTE, TE, committee members, intervention protocol to be followed at the railway station and procedure to maintenance of records at the centre.

T. Thiripurasundari, Programme Officer, Railway Children, South and P. Bala Murugan, UNICEF Consultant (Child Protection) outlined the roles of the committee in protecting the rights of the children at the stations. A. Xavier, chairperson, CWC, A. Devagi, District Child Protection Officer and representatives from Childline were present.

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