Child-friendly corners featuring play and learning material have been established at 10 police stations in Tiruchi range, comprising of Tiruchi, Karur, Ariyalur, Perambalur and Pudukottai districts.
The initiative undertaken in all-women police stations by Deputy-Insepctor General of Police, Tiruchi Range, Z. Annie Vijaya, with the support of International Justice Mission, an NGO, envisages projection of police stations as safe places for women and children. “They must feel comfortable walking into any station and recording their complaint without any reservation,” the DIG said.
Focus has been on all-women police stations where noticeable changes could be observed after a healthier environment was created, said M. Devasitham, Head, Strategic Development, International Justice Mission (IJM). “When the child is taken care of, the parent can concentrate on the counselling sessions. Positive results have been recorded,” he said. The experiment will be extended to Law and Order police stations shortly, he said.
Under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, it is important to ensure that a right environment is created, and police officers handle cases with the right attitude after adequate training in child-related issues. Similar guidelines were also issued by the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) in 2017.
Ten police stations, two each within the five districts in Tiruchi range were identified and special areas with play materials, educational games, notebooks, colouring books and toys have been created. “We have even included diapers, a kettle to heat water or milk for the children,” said Mr. Devasitham.
All the ten child-friendly corners were inaugurated by R.G. Anand, Member, NCPCR, the DIG, and other senior police officials. Ten children with a history of conflict with law were given educational aid on the occasion.