Children's welfare gets special focus in this year's Budget proposals, with the State government announcing the setting up of a Child Rights Commission in the State.

Finance Minister K.M. Mani, while presenting the State Budget for 2012-13 in the Assembly on Monday, said an amount of Rs.1 crore was being set aside for the activities of the Child Rights Commission. Children needed to be protected from all kinds of abuse and exploitation and child rights guarded, as the nation was a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, he said. The government reiterated its commitment to implementing the cochlear implantation scheme, along with local self-government institutions, for helping children below three years regain hearing ability.

The scheme would be implemented this year at an outlay of Rs.6 crore. Fast-track courts to try crimes against women would be set up by the government as part of Nirbhaya, a new scheme being implemented by the government to prevent crimes against minor girls and women. A sum of Rs.1.30 crore has been allocated for the scheme in the budget.

The ‘Thantedam' gender park in Kozhikode would get Rs.6 crore for launching activities for women's welfare and empowerment and women-centric activities in the State.

Geriatric care facilities would be extended to all Corporations and municipalities through the ‘Vayomithram' scheme being implemented in all district headquarters by the Kerala Social Security Mission. Mr. Mani has allocated Rs.4 crore this year for the mission's activities.

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