SHILLONG, February 28: A State Level Workshop on POCSO Act & RTE was held here today.
Speaking on the occasion as Chief Guest, Justice of Meghalaya High Court, TNK Singh enlightened the gathering about the guidelines and provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
He also spoke about various articles of the Indian constitution which protects and safeguard the right of a child.
Justice Singh further explained that POSCO Act provides Protection of Children from Sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography and safe guarding interest and well being of the child at every stage of the judicial process. The Act also boast of incorporating child-friendly procedures or reporting, recording of evidence, investigation of trial of offences and establishment of special court and speedy trial of such cases.
He also mentioned about the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act or Right to Education Act (RTE), which is an Act of the Parliament of India ected on August 4, 2009, and describes the modalities of the importance of free and compulsory education for children between 6 and 14 in India under Article 21A of the Indian Constitution by which India became one of 135 countries to make education a fundamental right of every child when the act came into force on April 1, 2010.
While mentioning about the importance of the role of parents he said that the greatest service of the parents is to provide education and take proper care of their children.
In her introductory speech, Mi Kharkongor, Chairperson SCPCR, said that as per the 2011 census, Meghalaya has 5, 55,822 children in the age group of 0-6 years, of which 2, 82,189 are boys and 2, 73,633 are girls. With the growing population of children, the SCPCR puts its focused attention on the rising population of the children and to oversee the paramount mandate of the SCPCR to ensure that their rights are fully protected and help create an environment which is congenial for their proper development and all round growth, she added.
Expressing concern about the growing population of street children who are vulnerable and prone to anti-social behavior and drug abuse, Kharkongor felt the need for the government to undertake a census of the children that belong to the streets and who are shelter less and to see that the children hooked into addictions should be given proper calibrated medical treatment and rehabilitation.
Stating that one serious and deplorable crime faced by minor girls is rape, Kharkongor said that it is high time the society do some serious reflections on what has gone wrong and urged the press fraternity to see that rape of children is not reported in the most vicious details.
“The SCPCR is encouraged to learn that the Government of Meghalaya in the Home Police is commissioning a deep socio-economic study across the State of the issues that lie at the root of crimes against women and children so that remedial measures can be formulated to deal with the issues at hand,” Kharkongor said.
Kharkongor also said that cases of sexual assault and rape involving minors are kept pending for long without trials, thus causing not only physical but emotiol and psychological pain to them and their families. “Throughout the justice process, child victims are exposed to hardship, and this can happen while reporting the crime and recounting what has happened while awaiting trial and while testifying in court,” the SCPCR chairperson said.