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Updated: April 20, 2014 11:23 IST

Doctors to be sensitised on reporting child abuse cases

Bindu Shajan Perappadan
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IMA joins hands with UNICEF in the initiative to safeguard children

Taking up the responsibility of identifying and reporting cases of child abuse, the country’s largest non-government organisation of allopathic doctors, the Indian Medical Association (IMA), is joining hands with United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to sensitise doctors on the issue.

IMA official Dr. Narendra Saini said this will be the IMA’s first nation-wide initiative to protect and safeguard children. The programmes planned as part of the initiative include sessions on how to identify cases of child abuse, workshops and an information booklet.

“Doctors across the country are seeing an alarming rise in the number of child abuse cases. Most of the times they are not sure of the correct questions to ask in the case, how to document and collect evidence, reassure the child/parents and then the procedure to inform the correct authorities to take action in the matter. Our programme hopes to educate doctors in this regard. The aim is to identify and report abuse as early as possible to ensure that the child remains safe,” said Dr. Saini.

Saying that children are subjected to abuse even within institutional set-ups, including schools, a senior official of the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights said: “Despite the ban on corporal punishment we still get complaints of children being subjected to this kind of abuse that hits them physically, mentally and emotionally. What is worse is that it is being done by educated teachers and in some cases accepted even by parents. Physical abuse of children is also being reported from Delhi schools, which is a cause for worry.”

Welcoming this latest initiative by doctors, which is scheduled to take-off soon, he said: “Every one in society has the responsibility to ensure care and protection of children. It is a step in the right direction.”

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