Staff Reporter

To reach children at remotest corners

  • Chairperson to respond to phone calls within 24 hours
  • Free postal facility to reach commission mooted

    Hyderabad: Newly-appointed Chairperson of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights Shantha Sinha has set a different benchmark for accessibility. She will be easily available and respond to phone calls within 24 hours. "Otherwise you can write a letter asking me to resign. That is how it has to be", she told a group of NGOs here on Saturday.

    Sinha, who is visiting the city for the first time after taking charge, asked people to demand attention.

    The commission was interested in establishing contacts right from the sub-district level.

    It was looking for a systematic framework for flow of information on violation of child rights. "I am looking for ideas", she said.

    Major challenge

    The major challenge before the commission, she said, was to reach children in the remotest corner of the country. The way institutions were structured, they become automatically inaccessible. It should not be the case with this commission which was set up specifically for the protecting rights of the child. The NGOs were the watchdog and they could partner with the commission.

    Sinha expressed concern at the neglect of children in the age group of 15 to 18 years. They were not even considered children and there was no policy for them.

    There were many issues to be addressed. The commission would support initiatives taken by NGOs, she assured.

    Suggestions

    There were several suggestions from the NGOs for making the commission accessible. It could have an exclusive telephone number or a free postcard facility for children.

    Some felt the commission should go on a publicity blitzkrieg and announce its presence.

    The problems of tribal and handicapped children were also highlighted. A girl, Janaki, spoke of the plight of hearing -impaired children in sign language.

    Such children were being denied admission in Government schools.