Demand for road map to protect children from abuse

Damini Nath I The Hindu I December 2, 2015

: The Centre will be looking into a demand for a roadmap to protect children from sexual abuse after an online petition started by MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar received nearly two lakh signatures.

Mr. Chandrasekhar, an independent MP from Bangalore, on Tuesday handed over a copy of the petition that he started on in October to Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi. The petition, with 1.82 lakh signatures, asks Prime Minister Narendra Modi to commit to a roadmap to prevent sexual abuse of about 400 million children in India.

A delegation led by Mr. Chandrasekhar and including representatives of HAQ Centre for Child Rights,, RAHI (a foundation that works on child protection), the grandparents of Choti Nirbhaya (a child who was raped by a man known to her on October 9) and the mother of another survivor met Ms. Gandhi.

Mr. Chandrasekhar said: “Child sexual abuse is a complex problem that requires a holistic policy response.” Ms. Gandhi told The Hindu that she was “happy that there was that much awareness” of the issue. “I will be looking into this and have called the representatives for a meeting later this week,” she said.

As per a survey by the Ministry, 53.22 per cent of the children surveyed, which amounts to every second child, had gone through some kind of sexual abuse in their life.