Andhra Pradesh

Village Child Protection Committees to stop child abuse, minor marriages

Village Child Protection Committee members meeting West Godavari Superintendent of Police K. Narayan Naik in Eluru recently. District Child Protection Officer Ch. Suryachakra Veni is seen.  

Officials of the Women Development and Child Welfare (WD&CW) are making all efforts to stamp out child marriages and increase girl child literacy through Village Child Protection Committees (VCPCs) in the State.

Over 7,000 VCPCs have been constituted in Andhra Pradesh, and the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) of WD&CW and some NGOs, working on protecting child rights, were monitoring the functioning of the committees.

“A sarpanch will head the committee and the local Anganwadi worker will act as a convener. Committee members will include four children, community elders, local school teachers, VRO, VRA and other government employees, NGOs working on child rights and parents,” said an officer of the WD&CW department.

VCPCs will identify the problems, arrange meetings, discuss the problems and come up with a solution. If the issue was not solved, the problem would be taken to the Mandal Child Protection Committees for resolution, the officer said.

West Godavari District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) Ch. Surya Chakraveni said over 900 VCPCs have been formed in the district. The committees were actively functioning with the help of World Vision, Child Rights Advocacy Foundation (CRAF) and other NGOs, she said.

Child rights

“We constituted 800 VCPCs in Krishna district. The committees will look into issues like school dropouts, child marriages, facilities in schools, better implementation of Right to Education Act, awareness on POCSO Act, and prevention of child labour,” said Krishna DCPO Ch. Vijay Kumar.

CRAF State programme director P. Francis Thambi said the children and members will also discuss on supply of nutritional diet, identification and restoration of children in need of care and protection, empowering children in leadership qualities, gender equality, Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994 (PC-PNDT Act), promotional activities of Beti Bachao Beti Bachao (BBBP), a Central government Scheme.

Child marriages stopped

“We are sponsoring for 152 children under Open School System, who are unable to attend regular schools due to various reasons in the State. Trained children will deliver lectures on protection of girl child, minor marriages and dropouts,” Mr. Francis said.

VCPC member Nithya of Eluru town said the committees foiled around 25 child marriages, with the help of Anganwadi workers and supervisers and counselled the bride and bridegroom families. Many dropout children were admitted in schools, she said.

“We will discuss the problems in the school and then discuss them in the VCPC meetings. Many issues were solved at the village-level,” Nithya said.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2021 4:01:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/village-child-protection-committees-to-stop-child-abuse-minor-marriages/article33208298.ece

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