Delhi govt. mentorship programme ‘safeguarded’NEW DELHI January 20, 2022 01:35 IST
Govt. to record all phone conversations between mentors and mentees
To ensure safety of children, new measures have been added to the ‘Desh Ke Mentor’ programme by the Delhi government.
The changes, including police verification of all mentors, were made after the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) raised concerns that the programme may expose children to probable safety risks.
In a circular sent to the NCPCR, the Directorate of Education said that in case of an adverse report from the police during verification about a registered mentor, the person will be deregistered immediately. It said that all phone conversations between the mentors and mentees will be recorded by the government so that there is no scope left for child abuse. All contact numbers will also be masked and if a mentor meets with a mentee offline, he/she will be deregistered from the programme.
NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo said the commission was satisfied with the extra measures being taken by the Delhi government.
The DoE has also issued a circular advising parents to ensure presence of any adult member of the family during the conversation between the mentor and the mentee done through the app.
The Delhi government has said that 37,000 mentors have joined the ‘Desh Ke Mentor’ programme to guide 1.5 lakh students of government schools. The initiative was started in October 2021, to help children by getting young volunteers to speak to them and help them shape their careers and act as a friend or an elder sibling with whom the students can share everything. Mentors from across the country can register for the programme via a dedicated app.
The NCPCR had on January 11 directed the Delhi government to suspend the scheme till all loopholes pertaining to the safety of children were addressed, after receiving an “unsatisfactory” response to the queries it had raised regarding the safety of children. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had then lashed out at the BJP saying that it was terrified of the success of the programme and was using a planted complaint to try and halt it.