Staff Reporter

PUDUCHERRY: All schools across the country should have compulsory self-defence classes for girls, Union Minister of State for Women and Child Development Renuka Chowdhury said on Friday.

After interacting with the children at the observation home at Ariyankuppam, she said the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection for Children) Act 2000 had been amended with strong recommendations.

“I believe in giving a chance to children in conflict with the law to be sensitively handled.

A penalty of Rs. 20,000 has been fixed for media including television which discloses the identity of children in conflict with the law,” Ms. Chowdhury told reporters.

Ms. Chowdhury said the property on which the observation home was situated should be developed into a first-class juvenile home.

“It should be expanded in a phased manner. I have asked for estimates and master plan for the works. We will see what can be done,” she said.

She also laid the foundation stone for a hostel for girls belonging to Backward Classes at Kirumampakkam. The four-storeyed hostel, to be constructed at the cost of Rs. 3.5 crore, would provide accommodation to 100 students. It would be completed within a year, Welfare Minister M. Kandasamy said.

He said IAS coaching classes and pilot training for women would start soon. An estimate of Rs. 11 crore had been submitted for the expansion of the home, he added. Secretary of Welfare Department C.V.S Rama Rao, Managing Director of Puducherry Corporation for Development of Women and Handicapped Persons R. Smitha, director (Social Welfare) P. Priyadarshini and Kirumampakkam panchayat members were present.