The Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has proposed to convene a convergence meeting with various State departments to chalk out measures to make Bangalore a child-beggar-free city.
Chairperson of the Commission Neena P. Naik will soon meet the Women and Child Welfare Minister P.M. Narendraswamy and submit a proposal in this regard. “We want to adopt a holistic approach to curb child begging in the city involving all departments involved in child welfare such as the Women and Child Welfare, Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and City Police. This will ensure that there are more care and protection programmes for child beggars,” Ms. Naik told The Hindu on Thursday on the sidelines of an awareness programme organised by Childline to mark World Human Rights Day in the city.
She said boys aged below 16 and girls aged below 18, who are involved in begging, do not come under the purview of the Karnataka Prohibition of Beggary Act, 1975. “Although they are covered under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, there is limited scope for their rehabilitation. While the BBMP collects beggary cess from citizens as part of property tax, it is used only for the welfare of adult beggars. We will discuss how best we can involve the BBMP and other departments for better care and protection of child beggars,” Ms. Naik said.
Earlier, Ms. Naik inaugurated the awareness programme organised to mark Human Rights Day. She was witness to a signature campaign to protect child rights as part of the programme.
She explained that Childline (1098) is a 24-hour free phone emergency outreach service for children in need of care and protection and aims to rehabilitate children. A human chain and a cultural programme, including a street play, were staged to mark the day.