The Ministry of Women and Child
New Delhi: An institutional mechanism to tackle child pornography, which has recorded a rise over the past few years, will soon be introduced by the government.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development will set up a National Alliance against Child Abuse, which will comprise of members from the Ministry of Home, Law, HR, IT, civil society organisations and major web portals.
“37 per cent of all internet is pornography and a major portion of it involves children. Child pornography has to be dealt seriously. All the stakeholders will meet on January 16 to deliberate on the contours of the National Alliance against Child Abuse,” Union Minister Maneka Gandhi said today.
The Minister also proposed setting up of a Women helpline, akin to Childline to help women in distress.
Highlighting the Ministry’s agenda for the year, Gandhi said her Ministry will take major steps to regulate pre-schools that are part of Anganwadi centres as also those run by private agencies in the wake of complaints about violation of child rights.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has recommended a set of regulatory guidelines which will decide on various issues such as teacher-student ratio, curriculum, infrastructure and the age of admission apart from the safety and security aspects.
Gandhi said that her Ministry was in talks with Law and Justice Ministry over setting up of a Central Tribunal for Adoptions.
“Forty per cent of the adoption cases are stuck in various courts and this has worried me. As per CARA guidelines, a court has to dispose a case within a period of two months from the date of filing of the adoption petition by the specialised adoption agency and in two hearings but it often takes much longer.
“So we want that a National Tribunal be set up to clear such cases so that parents don’t have to wait for a year to be able to take home a child,” Gandhi said.
According to a senior Ministry official, the objective is to have single-point person dealing with cases from across the country so that a child can be declared ‘legally free for adoption’ fast.
While mentioning that ‘One Stop Centres’ are being set up in all states, Gandhi expressed her displeasure over Delhi government not sending any proposals in this regard.
The Ministry also has roped in the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) for this purpose.
“We have met and written to the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asking him to send proposals for opening one in each of the 11 districts but we have not got a proposal from them,” Gandhi said.
The Ministry will provide funds for setting up these centres through Nirbhaya Fund, created in 2013 after the December 16, 2012, gang-rape case.
The Ministry will also train 2 lakh women sarpanches in batches of 40 across India this year.
These women will be imparted training on basic civil engineering, legal aspects, how to access funds for village development, about infrastructure, anganwadi work, and girl dropouts among others. The first batch, which started in Rajasthan’s Jhalawar, has completed the training period.
Also, the Ministry will constitute the National Women Entrepreneurship Council which will have women entrepreneurs to advise government on the issues related to their entrepreneurship.
The council will emerge from the Ministry’s online platform called ‘E-Mahila Haat’ launched this year to promote women entrepreneurship. Women will be voted on the website and the districts or states with highest votes will form the council.
She said the anti-trafficking draft Bill, which aims for the rescue and reintegration of trafficked persons, is ready to be sent to Cabinet and hoped that the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 which has been passed by Rajya Sabha, will be passed by Lok Sabha this year.
Development will set up a National Alliance against Child Abuse.
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