Kerala

Children of a lesser god

Sobha Koshy, chairperson of the Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, inspecting an estate lane at Peerumade on Thursday. The panel paints a sorry picture of children in the estate lanes.

Sobha Koshy, chairperson of the Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, inspecting an estate lane at Peerumade on Thursday. The panel paints a sorry picture of children in the estate lanes.  

The Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has expressed concern at the plight of children in the estate lanes.

The Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has expressed concern at the plight of children in the estate lanes and stressed the need for social security cover for them.



The commission, led by chairperson Sobha Koshy, on Friday took note of the issues faced by the children in the estate lanes where a change in the labour system had a negative impact on their psychological and physical growth. “This had resulted violation of basic rights of the children,” she said.



In an interaction with The Hindu after a two-day visit to the estate lanes and anganvadis, Ms. Koshy said they should get equal opportunity as other children in education and in safeguarding their rights.



Social security



She held discussions with the department heads at the civil station here. At present, children of migrant workers were devoid of the social security cover enjoyed by their peers in the State. No registry had been kept by estate managements or local bodies and the children were often locked up in the lanes while their parents were at work in the plantations.



“It creates psychological problems in addition to health issues due to the unhygienic atmosphere in the lanes,” Ms. Koshy said.



These children were not treated on a par with their peers resulting in them dropping out of schools, she said. Because of the language barrier, the children fail to come on scale with their peers, resulting in social alienation, Ms. Koshy said.



Lack of facilities



She said the estate lanes lacked basic facilities and children were vulnerable to sexual abuse.



Agencies such as anganvadis and the Kudumbasree Mission had no access to the plantation areas, which she said was the reason for serious issues not coming to public attention.



Ms. Koshy said the safety of adolescent girls was also an issue. There was no system to address these issues and even a small step for their welfare would have a big impact.



On Thursday, the panel visited the estate lanes at Glenmary Woodlands Division, Carady Goody, and the Pattumala estate anganvadi.



Details sought



Ms. Koshy sought details of child abuse cases, health cover for children, and the general living conditions in the lanes.



She said awareness campaigns were needed to reduce alcohol consumption as many crimes were attributed to alcohol or drug abuse.



Commission members Meena Kuruvila and K.Nazeer and public relations officer V.P. Pramod attended the sitting on Friday, at which many complaints were received.

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jul 9, 2020 5:08:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/children-of-a-lesser-god/article7237906.ece

Next Story