Police funds ad irks child body

, TNN | Jul 31, 2013, 04.12AM IST

NEW DELHI: "Help him learn how to chop an onion. Before someone teaches him how to chop a head"—the catchline of an advertisement by Delhi Police in leading national dailies—has drawn flak from the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights. 

The advertisement issued by the Delhi Police for its Yuva Foundation seeks funds for its project for underprivileged children and adults. 

The Commission has issued a notice to the police commissioner asking him to explain why content that violates the very principle of dignity and worth in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules 2007 have been used in the fundraiser. 

"Chopping of onion or chopping of head cannot be said to be the destiny of a vulnerable child. The Commission finds it to be an utterly negative portrayal of a vulnerable child," DCPCR says in its notice to Delhi Police. 

DCPCR has sought an action-taken report from Delhi Police within a week. DCPCR chairperson Arun Mathur described the catchline and content of the ad as "insensitive". "The intention behind the fundraiser advertisement may have been good but the projection of a vulnerable child in the Delhi Police advertisement is unacceptable. I would describe this as a case of insensitive portrayal," he said. 

While child rights groups objected to the catchline, DCPCR met on Tuesday and decided to issue a notice to the police commissioner by evening. "This advertisement consists of the photograph of a child, who apparently looks like a vulnerable child. It consists of a slogan, 'Help him learn how to chop an onion. Before someone teaches him how to chop a head'. The Commission finds the advertisement in bad taste and diminishing the dignity and worth of children, who are our future citizens," the DCPCR states. 

"The Commission also finds the advertisement to be violating the principle of dignity and worth as mentioned in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules 2007. This advertisement depicts a vulnerable child as a future criminal, who can chop a head, if he is not being provided vocational training. Besides, teaching a child how to chop an onion does not really do justice to a child," the notice elaborates. 

The DCPCR chairperson has also taken objection to the sentence where the Delhi Police states that under the programme "11 children have got jobs" as it can be misinterpreted as encouragement of child labour.