Stating that both National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights had become toothless tigers, unable to ensure adequate protection for children, human and child rights activists have come out and strongly questioned the work being done by these two institutions.

Social activist Ranjana Kumari said on Monday: “These are two major institutions which should stand like a rock between the violators and the victim and ensure that justice is delivered fast and as per protocol in case of a crime. But in this most recent case of the sexual assault on a five-year-old child we have found that inadequate leadership has taken a very negative toll on justice delivery.”

“These institutions are very important establishments which the Central Government has reduced to a friend’s club by making political appointments. These are bodies which should have people who are efficient, and who understand the issues in child rights and have empathy,” added Ms. Ranjana Kumari.

She charged even the National Commission for Women suffered from similar malady.

“The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had received only 214 complaints of sexual abuse in the past three year (2009-11). This by itself should explain the lack of trust that the common man has in such organisations,” said Yogesh Kumar of NGO Pratidhi. “This is information obtained under the Right to Information Act,” he added.

Refuting all charges and accusations of being slack, NCPCR head Shanta Sinha said: “The low number of complaints could be because of the fact that most complaints go to the police, State child rights commissions and the child welfare committees. Also several parents prefer to remain silent about abuse and few come forward to report it. The NCPCR has been very efficiently intervening for children across the country. It is true that we need to reach out and do more aggressive awareness creation, but this is an effective body that is truly dedicated to the welfare and development of the child.”

“As for the recent incident, we had a two-member delegation visit the child (five-year-old rape victim at AIIMS) and a report has already been submitted to the Government. We have pointed out the inaction of the police and suggested that long term health care facility be provided to the victim. Also the NCPCR has already set up a sexual offences monitoring division which became functional early this month and it will monitor every aspect of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, and its implementation,” added Ms. Sinha.

Adding that the NCPCR is doing substantial work for the children, member Nina Nayak said: “All the claims about our inaction are not true. We visited the child (the victim) immediately after the incident came to light and spoke with the family, doctors and the Delhi Child Rights Commission and submitted a detailed report to the Government. We have made concrete recommendations in the matter.” Stating that making recommendations was not enough, child rights activist Raaj Mangal Prasad said: “Even in the case of the Delhi Child Rights Commission, appointment to its highest post was a political decision. We have to have the right people in the right places to ensure that child rights commissions function in a manner beneficial to the children. These are important organisations which monitor, provide inputs for policies and look at its implementation and this cannot be done as a ritual or even on an ad-hoc basis, which is what is happening currently.”