GUWAHATI: The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has identified 50 religious places in the country wherein it will undertake interventions to ensure zero tolerance towards child labour.
In this regard, to address the issues of Child Right Violation inside Kamakhya Devalaya, the NCPCR organized a virtual meeting in collaboration with Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (ASCPCR) on February with the objective to develop a strategic course of action in places of religious importance.
The ASCPCR had received a complaint regarding a sensitive matter of violation of child rights in religious places. When ASCPCR visited to Kamakhya Temple, the team found several young girls who try to cause nuisance among devotees begging for money to perform Kumari Puja and if they do not give the money, that they will be cursed.
The ASCPCR had written to the Kamrup (Metro) District Administration earlier in this regard after finding out about the violations of child rights already existing inside Kamakhya Devalaya premises especially those operating under the pretext of Kumari Puja.
The meeting was held with focus on adopting child friendly practices within Maa Kamakhya Devalaya's premises. The meeting was held specifically with Deputy Commissioner Kamrup (M) and concerned departments such as Education, Labour, Police, Child Protection Unit, Civil Society Organizations, Kamakhya Devalaya Committee etc.
To make the premises of Kamakhya child friendly, it was recommended by NCPCR to identify and declare a fit facility for housing children found to be engaged in begging, labour inside temple premises. The deliberations further stressed upon assigning a Child Welfare Police Officer under Kamakhya Outpost, enrolling the street children to schools, and even take action against those parents who employ their children into begging. A decision was arrived upon to formulate a plan of action to be done by District Administration Kamrup (M) keeping into consideration necessary provisions mentioned under the SOP of NCPCR Children in Street Situations 2.0. The NCPCR SOP will serve as a baseline to formulate a strategic action plan to promote child friendly practices inside the Kamakhya Devalaya premises which will enable to curb child rights violations and lead by example.