Kerala

Stop publicity in giving aid to children: panel

The Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has asked the Chief Secretary to avoid public functions in which government departments or voluntary organisations distribute financial assistance to children or give away scholarships on the basis of their social or financial backwardness.

Commission member K. Nazeer, in an order last week, recommended that the Chief Secretary issue orders to ensure that photographs of distribution of financial assistance or other benefits were not published in print or other social media.

The order asked the Local Self-government Secretary, Panchayats Director, and the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation Secretary not to distribute financial aid or television sets, or any other assistance to children in a public function.

The Information and Public Relations Director too has been asked to issue a circular stating that photographs of assistance given by the government or non-governmental organisations should not be published in any media.

The commission’s directions follow a petition that publishing and propagating photographs of distribution of educational assistance and learning material to children in mainstream and social media without their consent affected their mental growth and personality development, and amounted to social discrimination.

The commission observed that the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child gave children the right to privacy and enjoy childhood with self-respect. The government and voluntary organisations were helping children financially and in other ways over the years.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, television sets and other equipment to facilitate online learning were distributed to children and photographs of the functions published. This adversely affected children’s self-respect and confidence, even leading to discrimination among children. Distribution of such aid should not be held as a public event and the event should not be published, the commission said.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2020 9:00:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/stop-publicity-in-giving-aid-to-children-panel/article32327260.ece

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