The State of Human Rights in India in 2010

"It is true that too many children die from malnutrition each year in this country. Some of their parents also die from starvation and hunger. But the children are more vulnerable … one of the reasons is the widespread 'irregularity' in the state and central government services … the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh state is a very kind person … the Nutrition Rehabilitation Centres is not a solution for the millions of malnourished children. These centres are not cost effective. But now that the centres are there we must effectively use them. My suggestion is to appoint a Brahmin priest in each of these centres and require the priest to verify the horoscope of every child brought to the centre. After studying a child's horoscope if the priest is of the opinion that the child will grow into a good citizen of this country, it must be provided treatment at the centre. For the rest, I would say, let us just leave them to their fate … if not where do we stop? … We cannot spend government money like this…" (Statement  and  opinion  of  Justice Ms.  Sheela  Khanna,  the  Chairperson  of Madhya  Pra esh  State  Commission  for  Protection  of  Child  Rights, made  t d o  the  AHRC  staff  members during a visit to the Commission in October 2010).  


The  Government  of  Madhya  Pradesh  appointed  Justice  Ms.  Sheela  Khanna  as  the  Commissioner at  the State Commission  for Protection of Child Rights, after  Justice  Khanna's retirement from the judicial service. Justice Khanna was the Chief Justice  of Madhya  Pradesh High  Court.1  The  state  cabinet's  decision,  taken in  September  2008 to institute a Child Rights Commission took one more year to be implemented,  at  a  limited  level,  of  the  appointing  of  a  commissioner.  The  Chief  Minister  of  the  state, Mr. Shivraj Singh  Chouhan, while informing  the  public and  the media about  the  decision  of  his  cabinet  to  set  up  the  Commission  said  that the  Commission is  mandated to help generate an atmosphere conducive to the all‐round development  of children.2 The reality today is that Justice Khanna, who entertains the above view  of child development chairs the Commission, while the government is yet to appoint  the rest of the six members that the Commission requires to function. 

click to view PDF Commissioner for Protection of Child Rights on nutrition.pdf