This refers to the editorial "Chilling scenario of child abuse" (March 28). The alarming disclosure by Prayas that 50 per cent of Indian children are subject to various forms of abuse is an eye-opener. The state has a primary responsibility of ensuring that the basic rights of children are protected.

V.K. Sathyavan Nair,

Seldom are children taught to deal with situations wherein they are abused. Many families tend to blame the child for the abuse. Under such circumstances, children are afraid to seek counsel. The study brings into focus the immediate need to put an official plan in place to counsel children and parents. Needless to say, existing laws have to be implemented strictly.

S. Sudhir Kumar,

The statistics revealing rampant child abuse have raised questions about India's concern for its children. We all shirk our social responsibility by blaming the government. But do we not perpetuate the problem by turning a blind eye to child labour in railway stations, eateries, and homes? How can the government alone combat the evil? All of us should realise the full import of the threat child abuse poses to the future of the country.

Akasmika Rath,

Most parents, teachers and other caregivers ignore the important fact that in many cases, sexual abuse of children is by close relatives. Much of the abuse occurs within the home. Parents who come to know of it refuse to publicly denounce the abuser, fearing social stigma.

The only solution is to speak openly about it. Parents, teachers, and all responsible members of the community must bring the issue out of the closet. Parents must make their children aware about what constitutes improper physical contact. Abuse is never the child's fault families that blame children for provoking the abuse are doing more harm to them than the abusers.

Himabindu Chitta,