Delhi Government not maintaining any relevant data, says NGO Pratidhi

Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe children entering the Juvenile Justice System are not able to avail of welfare schemes meant exclusive for them. This is because the Delhi Government has not been maintaining any relevant data despite an amendment to the Delhi JJ Rules 2000, which was notified by the Department of Women and Child Development.

This was revealed in an RTI reply to an NGO, Pratidhi. Neither the Department of Women and Child Development nor the Child Welfare Committees has been maintaining such data.

“The institutions also have no such records and as a result, SC/ST children are deprived of certain welfare schemes meant exclusively for them,” Pratidhi director Raaj Mangal Prasad said. Mr. Prasad has brought the issue to the notice of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

He has urged Ms. Dikshit to ensure that caste is brought on record so that SC and ST children get the benefit of the schemes meant for them.

According to the amended Delhi Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules, 2009, notified by the Delhi Government in 2011, under Form No. IV (Social Investigation Report) and X (Order of Short Term Placement Pending Inquiry), caste as reported by the child should be incorporated in relevant columns. In order to protect the interests of SC/ST/OBC children, the Association for Development had in April this year urged the Union Minister of Women and Child Development to provide reservation for one SC, ST member in the Child Welfare Committee.

This, child rights activists believe, will help in providing better treatment to the children, particularly those belonging to these groups.

“Given the large number of SC/ST children, at least one member should represent them in the committee. It can be done on the lines of reservation of one seat for women,” the petition had stated.

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