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National survey reports drop in malnutrition

There is a decrease in indicators of malnutrition among children, Minister of State for Women and Child Development Virendra Kumar told Rajya Sabha on Thursday while answering a question pertaining to malnutrition in India.“As per the report of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)–4 in 2015-16, 35.7 per cent children under five years of age are underweight and 38.4 per cent are stunted, indicating a reduction from the previous NFHS–3 conducted in 2005-06, which reported 42.5 per cent children under five years of age as underweight and 48 per cent stunted,” Kumar said.Further, 22.9 per cent women (15-49 years of age) have chronic energy deficiency (BMI less than 18.5) — a decline from the previous NFHS-3 levels which reported 35.5 per cent women having chronic energy deficiency.The important determinants of malnutrition include inadequate food, frequent infections, poverty, low access to health, education, and so on.The approach to tackle the problem is multipronged. While the measures related to women and children are being undertaken by the Health Department through the network of Community Health Centres, Primary Health Centres and referral hospitals like AIIMS, the action related to bringing about improvement in the nutritional status is being undertaken by the ministry in the form of various schemes like Anganwadi Services, Scheme for Adolescent Girls and Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojna under the Umbrella Integrated Child Development Services Scheme as direct targeted interventions to address the problem of malnutrition in the country.Recently, the Centre has announced the setting up of National Nutrition Mission (NNM) for improving the nutritional indicators of children and pregnant women and lactating mothers.

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Child rape cases shot up sharply in Ahmedabad, says NCRB

The city which is known to be one of the safest for children is turning out to be a place of nightmare. According to the data issued by National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), 196 cases were recorded under Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses(POCSO) Act were lodged in Ahmedabad in 2016.Of these, 139 cases were of minors being raped, 21 21 of them were reported to be sexually assaulted. Also, 7 cases of unnatural activities were reported against children were registered.For instance, one eight-year-old girl was molested by a 60-year-old doctor in his clinic in Isanpur area last Thursday. The incident took place when the girl went to his clinic alone. The doctor took her to an adjacent room, where he held her hand and zipped his pants down to flash his private parts.In 80 per cent of such cases, the accused turned out to someone known to the victims, which includes mostly relatives, neighbours, friends etc. Binal Patel, the city coordinator of Childline of an NGO that works to protect the rights of children, said that she has known a lot of cases where children are abused daily.The one who abuses the kids are mostly in acquaintance, she said.”It is often the relatives, friends of the family, neighbours or people in school whom the child is in touch with who abuse them,” said Patel, adding that in many cases the child is being abused over a period before s/he opens up to her/his parents.The trigger is often when parents discover the physical signs of sexual abuse or molestation,” said Patel. In many cases, the relatives even ignore the case because the incident involves members of the same of extended families, she said. “We know of a case in which an orphan girl was sexually abused by her uncle. But, her relatives asked her to stay mum,” she said.According to NCRB data, 481 cases of crime against children were reported in Ahmedabad in 2016. Of them, 196 cases were reported under POCSO Act, which is 40.74 per cent. While in 2015, 609 cases of crime against children were reported where 191 cases were of POCSO, 173 out of 437 cases were registered under POCSO Act in 2014.Cases in 2017 October 31: A 6-year-old boy was kidnapped and sodomised by a 21-year-old, who spotted the victim playing near his house. The crime took place in Odhav area of the city. Finally, the accused was caught redhanded by the victim’s uncle and was handed over to police.On September 14: Principal of a municipal English medium school, near Shankar Bhuvan, in Shahpur, was nabbed by Shahpur police for raping an eight-year-old student of his school. March 17: Two teenage sisters, both around 15 years old, were gang-raped by six in a running car in Dahod. The accused wanted to punish the family after the girl’s brother accused one of them of bootlegging.POCSO cases filed in Gujarat 2016 1408 cases1414 victims2015 1416 cases1424 victimsPOCSO cases lodged in Ahmedabad 2016 196 cases196 victims2015 191 cases191 victims2014 173 cases 173 victimsCrime chart of cases filed under POCSO Act in Ahmedabad Child Raped 139 cases139 victimsSexual Assualt 21 cases21 victimsOther POCSO cases35 cases 35 victims

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Cases of child beating rise in government schools

Complaints of corporal punishment — like a teacher slapping or beating a child — in government schools across India have increased by more than 271 per cent in the last three years, official data shows.A total of 144 cases have been reported from various parts of the country in the last three years, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has informed Parliament.There were 28 complaints in 2014-15. The number was 12 in 2015-16. It has gone up to 104 in 2016-17.Most cases have been reported from the state of Uttar Pradesh: 25 in 2016-17 and 13 in 2014-15.While the spike raises concerns about the safety of children in schools, officials attribute it to better reporting of cases. “Children have been made aware… to report when they are beaten up or slapped by teachers. Such cases were not reported before,” said a senior government official.The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has issued guidelines to schools to ensure safety of children in schools. This has been communicated by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to schools affiliated to it.”The Board has regularly issued circulars/guidelines to its affiliated schools to curb corporal punishment and mental harassment. For corporal punishment, the Board has incorporated a provision in the affiliation by-laws to prevent cruelty towards children. Under Rule 44.1 (d) of affiliation by-laws of the Board, the school managing committee has been empowered to place an employee under suspension if he/she is charged with cruelty with any student or any employee of the school,” Minister of State for HRD Upendra Kushwaha said in a written reply in Parliament.

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Over 180 girls abducted daily in 2016: NCRB

More than 180 girls and women were kidnapped in India every day last year. The scarring data was revealed recently by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), which also stated that nearly 100 of these women were kidnapped daily for marriages, while five a day were abducted for illicit intercourse.Also, the data revealed that the number of these victims has risen alarmingly by the year. In 2014, the number of victims of kidnapping or abduction, both male and female, was 77,250, which rose to 83,005 in 2015. The total number of victims in 2016 stood at 88,008.In all, 66,525 girls and women were kidnapped in 2016. The data further classified that 33,796 or 37.7 per cent girls or women were kidnapped only for marriages.Of them, 14,539 were aged between 18 and 30 years and 2,320 victims were aged between 30 and 60 years.Also, of the total kidnapped and abducted victims, 16,937 were children, and 1,853 victims were abducted for illicit intercourse. The data also read that 111 of the total victims were forced into prostitution.Commenting on the report, Priyank Kanoongo, a member of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), said that the drastic rise in number of kidnapping or trafficking victims was largely because more cases were being registered now and more victims were coming forward to seek help.”In order to bring down these numbers, we require to enhance skill development among women in bordering areas, specially in West Bengal, Assam, and nearby states that share international borders,” he said, adding that the Commission is taking measures in this direction.Kanoongo further said the NCPCR in West Bengal, which recorded the highest number of trafficking cases last year and surpassed Assam, is organising a workshop to spread awareness, especially among adolescent girls, in order to develop their development skills to make them independent.”The commission is working constantly to curb such crimes against children and to make them aware of their rights. We have also talked to our resident commissioners in various states regarding the issue and post-trafficking guidelines for rehabilitation are also being set up,” he said.NUMBING NUMBERSOver 180 girls/women kidnapped every day in 2016 Nearly 100 of them kidnapped for marriages Five girls a day kidnapped for illicit intercourse In all, 66,525 girls and women kidnapped in 2016 33,796 (37.7%) abducted for marriages 1,853 kidnapped for illicit intercourse 111 kidnapped for prostitution Total abductions (male and female)2014: 77,250 2015: 83,005 2016: 88,008

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Indians top list in Asia category in overseas education, claims study

More and more parents are sending their children overseas for higher education with around 62 per cent of the parents in a poll saying they sent their kids to foreign universities in 2017 as against 47 per cent in 2016, claims a study.The findings are based on the study of over 8,000 parents across 15 countries and territories which found that 42 per cent parents would consider sending their children to universities abroad, compared to 35 per cent in 2016.Ambitious parents in Asia are boosting the trend where India leads the tray with 62 per cent of the parents doing so, followed by Indonesia (61), China (59), Hong Kong (52), Malaysia (51) and Singapore (47), as per an HSBC report.”With the rise of the information economy and a challenging job market, education has never been more important than it’s today. Parents know this and they are willing to go to great lengths to secure the right education for their children,” HSBC group head for wealth management Charlie Nunn said in the report.Asian parents appear to be much more focused on the competitive advantage an overseas university can offer their child, it said.Parents see the main benefits of a university education abroad as being to help their child gain international work experience (49 per cent), develop foreign language skills (49 per cent) and to be exposed to new experiences, ideas and cultures (48 per cent).Overall, the US is the most considered international education destination (47 per cent), ahead of Australia, Britain, Canada, Germany and France.Nearly 73 per cent parents consider a foreign university education for their kids and are ready to make a significant financial contribution for the same.The overall average cost for an undergraduate and postgraduate degree abroad is around USD 1,57,782 (USD71,580 for an undergraduate and USD 86,202 for a postgraduate course), it said.Around 45 per cent of parents would go further and consider buying a property in the country where their child is studying, claim survey.

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Thirty-year-old woman found dead at bldg site

A 30-year old woman was allegedly found dead at an underconstruction building with her two-month-old daughter crying next to her in Rohini’s Sector 28 area on Thursday morning. Her husband who is the prime suspect in the case and was with them was found missing in the morning.According to the police the couple along with their child had come to the underconstruction building on Wednesday night. They asked the watchman of the building to provide them shelter and some food to stay the night. “The watchman of the building provided the couple some food and a tripal to spend the night on the first floor, keeping in mind the cold and the child along with them,” said a senior police officer.Around 9.30 am the watchman heard the cries of the child and reached the first floor to check. The watchman saw the little child crying next to her mother who was not responding at all whereas the husband was no where to be seen. The child was taken down by the guards and the police was informed. There were signs of vomitting near the woman’s mouth.Cops are probing all angles including food being stuck in the wind pipe or the possibility of being given stale food by the watchman.The husband has been identified as Shiv whose portrait has been made and circulated.
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Kolkata sexual assault case: School principal finally removed after massive protest

After much outrage and protest from parents, authorities of GD Birla Centre for Education in Kolkata have removed the school principal for her inability to properly deal with a case of sexual assault inside the premises. A four-year old girl student was sexually assaulted by two male teachers last week. Principle Sharmila Nath initially tried to play down the entire incident said it was merely a ‘mischief’ by the teachers. Once, there was greater clarity, there was intense pressure on her to step down. However the school authorities didn’t immediately fire her. Finally after a marathon meeting, the authorities decided to send her for a long leave, reports Zee 24 Ghanta. School spokesperson Subhash Mohanti was quoted as saying, “The Principal has been sent on leave. She is not involved with us any longer. Once the legal process is over, a formal letter will be sent to her”. However, Mohanty also said that no one can be branded as guilty before it is proven. So there is a chance that Nath may be back in future in some other capacity. Earlier, the meeting witnessed hectic parleys with parents too divided about future course of action. One group wanted school to be reopened as soon as possible, others demanded resignation of the Principal before that. Finally, the authorities buckled under pressure and asked the Principal to go on a ‘long leave’. Also readKolkata child sexual assault: Soon schools need to declare infrastructure detailsOn Tuesday. the principal of the school, Sharmila Nath, who has courted a fresh controversy by revealing the victim’s name in contravention of the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act, was summoned by the city police. A sweeper and two other non-teaching staff members of the premier school were also summoned for questioning, a senior Kolkata Police official said.The parents forum also wants principal to be arrested. “Since an FIR has already been filed against her and a probe initiated by the police, let the legal procedure be completed. We have full faith that action will be taken against her, in accordance with the law, soon.” West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights (WBCPCR) Chairperson Ananya Chatterjee Chakraborti, who too attended the meeting, said the commission stood by the guardians’ demand on Tuesday. Also readKolkata rape: GD Birla school faces legal action after abrupt shutdown, rights body says fate of 7,000 students at stakeThe school authorities had, through a notice on Sunday, had informed the “parents and all concerned” that the junior and senior sections of the school would remain shut from Monday. In another notice, it had said the two physical training instructors, who were arrested on Saturday for allegedly sexually assaulting the child, were removed from service and promised full cooperation in the police probe. With PTI inputs
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Delay no reason for relief in child sex abuse cases: Court

The special Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSOA) court while justifying a delay caused in registering of FIR in a POCSOA case held that the parents and the family members of the girl child would think twice before registering a sexual harassment offence, which their child had gone through. The court while refusing to accept the defence placed on record by the 35 year old Sion resident, Jasbeersingh Baas, held the man guilty of molestation charges and sentenced him to three years of rigorous improvement along with a fine of Rs 22,000.The court in its orders held, “The victim’s mother had explained the delay by saying that her parents-in-law and husband were not at home so she had not lodged the report immediately, hence the delay is properly explained.Parents and the family members would always think twice before lodging the report as regards to a girl child. In context with Indian society, the female member cannot take such decision to file a case pertaining to child without support of family. So, delay caused is properly explained that victim’s mother lodged report when her husband, parent-in-law came.”According to the prosecution’s case, the victim, a nine year old girl, was abducted by Baas and was sexually molested. The child ran to her mother and informed that a ‘Sardaarji Uncle’ did wrong act with her and pointed out towards his house. The child in her statement said that the accused had lured her with chocolates and took her at his house and molested her. However the FIR in the case was not registered immediately as she claimed that there was no one present at her house when the incident took place and so she had to wait for her family to decide on the aspect of registering the complaint.The defence was of the view that he had slapped the child, as she had blown soil in his eyes, and just to take a revenge, a complaint under the stringent POCSOA charges against him and he was wrongly implicated in the case.The court however, after going through the evidence put up by the prosecution as well as after going through the statement of the child found confidence in the her statement. Also witnesses produced by the prosecution had supported the case.
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Man held on charge of minor daughter rape

A man has been arrested on the alleged charge of repeatedly raping his seven-year-old girl of in Jhalawar. This is the third incident of rape of a minor girl in the last six days in the district.According to police, victim’s mother had died and she was living with father. The Child Welfare Committee (CWC) came to know about the incident when the girl stopped attending Aanganwadi centre. A Aanganwadi worker went to her home where she narrated her ordeal. On the report by the CWC, a case under section 376 of IPC and section of POASO Act was yesterday lodged against the accused father Mohammed Rayees, who would be produced before the court today, he added. The victim is currently undergoing medical treatment at government woman hospital in Jhalawar and her condition is stated to be out of danger.This is the third incident of rape of a minor in the last six days. On November 26, a 12-year-old girl of Meena community, a class 6th student was allegedly raped by a neighbourhood youth. On November 28, a 10-year-old girl of Mehar community was allegedly raped and murdered in Dug town of Jhalawar district.
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Government approves launch of National Nutrition Mission, plans to spend Rs 9,000 cr in 3 years

The Union Cabinet has approved the launch of the National Nutrition Mission (NNM) to tackle the problems of under-nutrition, low birthweight and stunting, with a three year budget of Rs.9046.17 crore.The mission, commencing 2017-18, has a target to reduce under-nutrition and low birthweight by 2% each year.”The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday has approved setting up of National Nutrition Mission (NNM) with a three year budget of Rs.9046.17 crore commencing from 2017-18,” the government said in a statement today.This will be funded by Government Budgetary Support (50%) and 50% by International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) or other Multilateral Development Bank (MDB). Government budgetary support would be 60:40 between Centre and States/UTs, 90:10 for NER and Himalayan States and 100% for UTs without legislature. Total Government of India share over a period of three years would be Rs. 2849.54 crore, the statement said. Also readTwo ends of the spectrum: Every country’s nutrition problem is either obesity or malnourishment The programme will strive to reduce the level of stunting, under-nutrition, anemia and low birth weight babies besides creating synergy, ensure better monitoring, issue alerts for timely action, and encourage States/UTs to perform, guide and supervise the line Ministries and States/UTs to achieve the targeted goals, it said. The mission will strive to achieve reduction in stunting from 38.4% as per the National Family Health Survey-4 to 25% by 2022.Also readNow, pregnant women to get nutrition diet on monthly basisIt also aims to bring down anaemia among young children, women and adolescent girls by 3% per year. More than 10 crore people will benefit from the programme. All the States and districts will be covered in a phased manner – 315 districts in 2017-18, 235 districts in 2018-19 and remaining districts in 2019-20.At the heart of the mission is the use of information communication technology to monitor the implementation of the scheme as well as to check pilferage in distribution of supplementary nutrition at anganwadis under the Integrated Child Development Scheme, according to the statement.Anganwadi workers will also be offered incentives for using IT-based tools such as smart phones.Aadhaar card is a mandatory requirement to avail the benefits of the mission, according to Women and Child Development Secretary R K Shrivastava.The National Nutrition Mission (NNM), as an apex body, will monitor, supervise, fix targets and guide the nutrition related interventions across the Ministries.
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4-year-old girl sexually molested in washroom of reputed Kolkata school

A four-year-old nursery student was allegedly sexually assaulted by a teacher in the premises of a reputed school in south Kolkata, police said today. Police have detained the accused PT teacher against whom the parents of the girl child lodged a complaint at the local Jadavpur Police station, a senior officer of Kolkata Police said.Fresh reports however indicate not one but two teachers were involved in sexually assaulting the child. Zee 24 Ghanta reports that the girl was lured to the toilet with promise of getting chocolates. There she was given shown pornography and was sexually molested. The victim has identified the two individuals from pictures shown by the detectives. The child was constantly crying and complained of severe pain after returning from school on Wednesday when her mother spotted blood stains on her clothes, he said. On enquiring, the girl told her mother that the PT teacher had taken her to the washroom but could not narrate what happened thereafter. Her parents took her to a paediatrician who advised her to be taken to the police, the officer said.Also readChandigarh gang-rape | MP Kirron Kher’s bizarre suggestion: Girls shouldn’t board rickshaw with 3 menThe child was admitted to the state-run SSKM Hospital late last night. Tests were performed to confirm the alleged sexual assault on her. The report is awaited, hospital sources told. Following the incident, parents of other students held protests in front of the school gate today demanding immediate suspension of the accused teacher. The school authorities said, “We are doing an internal investigation as well. We can give assurance to all parents that security & safety will be given top priority”. The state Education Minister has assured that strong action will be taken against whoever is guilty in this incident. With PTI inputs
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Medanta inflated bill case: ‘We lost our child, won’t let this matter get buried,’ says aggrieved father

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The family of Saurya Pratap said it will approach the Union Health Ministry for action against “inflated medical bills” slapped by Gurugram’s Medanta Hospital for the treatment of the seven-year-old boy who died on Wednesday.The hospital billed a Dholpur-based insurance agent Rs 15.88 lakh for the child’s 22-day dengue treatment. The father, Gopendra Singh, said he mortgaged his house to pay the bill but did not have money for further treatment. He took his son to RML Hospital in Delhi where he died. “We have lost our child and no one can understand the pain. We will not let this matter get buried. We will also register a police case and want our system to take stringent action. These private hospitals must be taught a lesson so that no other parent loses his child,” said Singh.This follows shock and anger on Monday when it emerged that the parents of a seven-year-old girl, who died of dengue at Gurugram’s Fortis hospital, were billed Rs 16 lakh for 15 days of treatment.In the latest case, the family said the hospital kept the child with false promises, saying that it would reduce the bill amount.The parents said Medanta was not even their choice.

Principal didn’t take my calls, says mother of ‘raped’ four-year-old

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Expressing her outrage in her complaint given to Delhi Police, the mother of the four-year-old Dwarka school rape victim, said it had been a restless night for her and her child, who kept on narrating the gruesome ordeal she had undergone.The woman has demanded action against the school administration alleging that it was their “negligence” that had led to the crime.It was on Friday when the child had reported pain in her private parts to her mother, which was initially overlooked by the woman. However, later on, when she noticed injuries in the girl’s private parts, the woman approached police and a medical examination confirmed rape. The child had also hinted to her mother that she was sexually assaulted in school, after which the parents gave a written complaint at Dwarka south police station and an FIR was registered.Talking about the alleged negligence on the school’s part, the woman said, “At night I sent a message to her school teacher informing her of the incident. In the morning, I asked the teacher and the school coordinator, but they did not take any interest in the matter. I spoke to the principal but she did not bother to answer my calls in the morning and even did not respond to my emails. She instead passed on the number to the school counsellor,” the mother said.Talking to DNA, the woman also said CCTV footage points out that her child’s teacher left the class to the ayah (woman help) and that the victim was the last one to walk out of the class because she could not put on the hook of her pants that the boy had opened. The mother also alleged that since the school is an “upmarket school”, it is not being booked for any negligence by the police.”The police are apparently going after the classmate, but the school is allowed to go scot free. How could it happen in the first place? If that boy has been booked under POCSO, why can’t this so-called upmarket school be booked for criminal negligence?””Police is all out to defend the school knowing well the boy is a juvenile. But the school’s criminality needs to be established. The school should be booked for scarring my innocent child for no fault of hers and letting something like this to happen in the classroom,” she said.The mother further asked that when she had brought it to the notice of the school, why the authorities didn’t call the police or hospital?”They didn’t try to meet the child or me when my child was being medically examined at a hospital and from there taken to a police station to file an FIR. How convenient for the school to pass the buck of this gross negligence to the boy and his upbringing,” the mother said.UNSAFE SCHOOLSOn Friday, the child reported pain in her private parts to her mother.
The mother then noticed injuries in the girl’s private parts.
She approached police, a medical test confirmed rape.
The child had also hinted she was sexually assaulted in school.

After Fortis shocker, it’s Medanta now

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Inflated medical bills have come back to haunt Delhiites again. After parents at Fortis were in for a shock after the hospital charged them Rs 16 lakh for the treatment of their daughter,who died of dengue in the ICU, parents who admitted their seven year-old child Saurya Pratap to Medanta underwent a similar experience.After 22 days of treatment wit no hope of improvement, the family had enough and against medical advice withdrew their child from the hospital and transferred him, barely breathing, to RML Hospital on November 20, where he died two days later on Wednesday.The parents of the child claim that going to Medanta was not even their choice. On October 30, the child was brought via ambulance from Gwalior to Gurugram and here the father Gopendra Singh, an insurance agent, claims that they took them to Medanta despite their protests.”I wanted to admit my child to Sir Gangaram Hospital but the ambulance man insisted on taking my child to Medanta, as they said the treatment would be better there. Having no choice, we agreed,” Singh said.After this the child was admitted on October 30 into the ICU there. And though the family claimed that the doctor gave them and their child a lot of attention, they said that they were unclear about the line of treatment that was being followed.”The doctors continued to do tests and talk to us in English which we were unable to follow. We were constantly assured by them that our child would get better but after three weeks when we saw no improvement, we decided to shift him,” Singh added.There was another reason for the shift. The family, which had mortgaged their house and borrowed money from relatives, felt that after a bill of Rs 10 lakh they could not afford the hospital’s care. So they took the child, who had trouble breathing — doctors at Medanta claim that he was on the verge of death — to RML where he died.The family claim that the hospital kept them there with false promises, saying that they would reduce the amount of the final bill. But in the final bill there was only a discount of Rs 20,000.In a tweet, the hospital stated. “Our bills are absolutely transparent, anyone can come and check them.” However, doctors at the hospital have refused to comment on the matter.Medical experts say that the problem is not in legalisation but in political will. In 2010, the Clinical Establishments Act was set up and measures were put in place to rationalise hospital bills but so far little has happened with only seven states and six union territories having implemented it so far.

‘He touched her private parts, she writhed in pain,’ mother of 4-year-old recounts horror

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Thursday, Delhi woke up to a news that shattered all beliefs of safety and security.At a time, when the national capital is debating about how safe are Delhi schools, a sexual assault case has sparked more outrage.The fact that the assaulter is none other than the classmate of the four-year-old victim is beyond any stretch of imagination.As the details of the assault start surfacing, the mother of the victim has given a chilling testimony of the crime.Recalling the horror story, the mother told NDTV that how her daughter came home and complained about ‘tummy pain’.The mother thought that the child is throwing ‘tantrums’ until she saw her daughter’s private part red and swollen.It was then the child broke down and told her about how a classmate would touch her private parts. ‘He sharpened his pencil and put it in too,’ the child told her mother.Writhing in pain, the child then confided in her father. It was only beginning of the traumatic journey of the child and her parents.The mother alleges that the school didn’t take her complaint seriously. She said that despite the child narrating the incident word by word in front of the Metropolitan Judge, nothing has been done so far.The parents also said that the school can’t shrug from its responsibility to keep their child safe.This starling case shows the poor safety protocols followed in schools. The mother says that the teacher left the class in hands of an ‘aaya’ who didn’t notice that her child came out last from the class or that she was disturbed.

WATCH: Karnataka Minister DK Shivakumar hits a man taking selfie

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Karnataka Minister DK Shivakumar while addressing the media on Tuesday, hit a man who was clicking a selfie right behind him.Karnataka Energy Minister Shivakumar was at a Child Rights’ event at a Belagum college when the incident took place. While addressing the media, the minister happened to turn around, disturbed by the man trying to take a selfie, hit him. Shivakumar had hit him on the arm, according to the video posted by ANI. Evidently the irritated Minister lost his cool and hit the man in front of the media. The video is doing rounds on Twitter. Lately, the minister had been in the news because of his properties in Bengaluru. Income Tax department raided all his properties in Bengaluru and in other states. Denying all the allegations, Shivakumar blamed the BJP government for the raids.

Boy ‘rescued’ from borewell, dies in hosp

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The five-year-old boy, Aman, from Paniyala village of Sawai Madhopur district, could not be saved even after he was resuced for the dark pit of the borewell.After a marathon effort that last for around 12 hours, the child was finally recovered from the borewell and was rushed to nearby hospital. However, doctors at the hospital declared him dead. The news of the child’s death spread like wildfire and a huge hue and cry erupted at Aman’s house.The child had slipped into the borewell on Tuesday evening and as the news spread, the villagers tied a mobile phone to a rope and hung it inside the borewell to find out about the child.Shockingly only fifteen days back, Aman’s sister suddenly fell ill and died. The family had not even recovered from the loss when on Tuesday evening another tragedy struck them. Notably, an open borewell again resulted in a disaster, this time in Sawai Madhopur district, when a five-year old child fell in the borewell while playing with children. The children were playing in a field away from the village when the incident occurred. News of the incident reached the cops who alerted the administration for rescue efforts. Till late in the night, there was no trace of the child.Five year old Aman, a native of Paniyala village under Malarna Doongar police station was playing with his cousins and friends from the village when the incident happened.“The children were playing around 4pm and were close to the borewell. Although the borewell is located far from the village the children reached the site without realising of its presence and fell inside,” said Bijendra Singh, station incharge, Malarna Doongar police station.

Govt will grade 9,000 childcare centres for better facilities

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) on Wednesday announced that it will grade over 9,000 Child Care Institutions (CCI) across the country on the basis of several parameters. The move follows a Supreme Court directive and is likely to be announced by the end of the year.The grading of the CCIs will be carried out in three categories — platinum, gold and silver and it will be done on the basis of the presence of facilities like clean and functional toilets, kitchens and counselling for the children.”The idea is to infuse a sense of competition among the CCIs and also identify the ones where children are kept in abysmal conditions,” said WCD secretary Rakesh Srivastav. He added that the ministry has already carried out a survey of all the CCIs.Srivastav said that CCIs that do not register under the government will be shut down, and in case a CCI shuts down, the state government will be responsible for the children in the CCI. He added that WCD minister Maneka Gandhi has also written to the CMs of several states to ensure that CCIs in their respective states comply.The Kerala state government had earlier appealed to the Supreme Court for a stay on an order issued by the WCD ministry, as part of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016, which said that every CCI in the country will need to register under the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights. The matter is currently being argued, and an official from the NCPCR said that with the SC’s directive, the Centre will ask the apex court to quash the kerala government’s plea.Grading criteriaThe grading of the CCIs will be carried out in three categories — platinum, gold and silver It will be done on the basis of the presence of facilities like clean and functional toilets

Shoddy probe? Haryana cops face questions

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The murder of seven-year-old boy at the Ryan International School on September 8 this year highlighted security lapses at the school, but most importantly brought the shoddy probe carried out by the Haryana Police to light.From the DCP Traffic being made in-charge of the case to washing up of the crime scene, the Haryana police did not investigate the case properly.Earlier, the Haryana police arrested a bus conductor, Ashok Kumar, who is currently lodged in jail, for the crime. The police had claimed that the conductor had even confessed to the crime. Their theory initially was that the conductor wanted to assault the child and when the boy raised an alarm, he murdered him.The investigation carried out by CBI officials have, however, given a different perspective to the case. The parents of the victim — from the time their child was killed — had always believed it was not the conductor who had murdered the child. They said therwas a larger set of circumstances behind it which the police did not uncover.The parents also said the police had lapses in their investigation.

Schools told to set up menstrual hygiene mgmt plan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Government schools across the city have been asked to set up menstrual hygiene management plan among girl students under the Swachcha Bharat Swachcha Vidyalaya programme. The schools have been asked to interact with parents and conduct the UNICEF six session programme.A government resolution in this regard was issued on October 27 for all schools in the state. The decision of organising this program was made after it successful implementation in schools other districts like Thane, Jalna, Ratnagiri, Aurangabad, Osmanabad, Ahmednagar and Sindhudurg with the technical support of UNICEF on menstruation hygiene management. A task force will be formed at the district as well as state level to keep a watch on the plan and progress of schools in conducting the menstrual hygiene management. Other than creating awareness among parents and students the schools will also have to provide different facilities for girl students to maintain menstrual hygiene, which will be assessed by the task force.Welcoming the move, Prashant Redij, spokesperson of Maharashtra Principal Association, said, “In the past too teachers have been reasons for revolution, so this too will bring revolution in the society. “Shalini Thackeray, General Secretary of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) which has donated sanitary napkins in 10 different schools, said, “It is important to create awareness among girl students, but I stress up on the point that sanitary napkins should be made under essential commodities and their price should not be increased.”“NGO Citizens Association Child Rights (CACR) in partnership with UNICEF Mumbai is conducting MHM behaviour change intervention programs in 15 BMC schools across Mumbai. We will be imparting medically accurate information to adolescent girls on menstruation, usage of sanitary napkins their safe disposal,” said Dr Richa Singh NGO Citizens Association Child Rights, Co-founder and Director Projects.UNICEF’S 6 SESSIONCreating awareness about menstrual cycle,
How to tackle challenges during menstrual cycle,
How to maintain health and hygiene,
How to tackle physical pain and emotional fluctuations,
To create awareness against superstitious beliefs around menstrual cycles
Counselling students

Chandigarh: Two held guilty of raping minor niece, verdict on November 2

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Chandigarh court on Tuesday held two brothers guilty of raping their 10-year-old niece, who had delivered a baby in August this year after the Supreme Court dismissed her abortion plea, the lawyers for the men said.The verdict was delivered by Additional District and Sessions Judge Poonam R Judge, said Manjit Singh, who is representing the elder of the two brothers.The quantum of sentence will be pronounced on November 2.The maternal uncles of the child have been charged under Section 376 (2) (f) (i) (rape on a woman when she is under twelve years of age) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 6 (punishment for aggravated penetrative sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), the counsel said.The crime came to light in July when the child was taken to a hospital after she complained of a stomach ache and was found to be over 30 weeks pregnant.On July 28, the Supreme Court dismissed a plea seeking its nod to terminate the 32-week pregnancy after taking note of a medical report that abortion was neither good for the girl nor for the foetus.The child was told by her family and the doctors that she had a stone in her stomach that had to be removed.It was earlier suspected that her elder uncle had fathered the baby, who was delivered through C-section at a government hospital here in August.The twist in the case came this month when a fresh DNA test showed the younger maternal uncle to be the father of the child.The elder uncle’s DNA sample had not matched the newborn following which suspicion fell on the younger uncle who, too, had been accused of rape by the child.Police had maintained that both her uncles had sexually exploited her.Earlier, police had said the girl was repeatedly raped allegedly by her elder maternal uncle for several months.The younger uncle’s counsel, Inderjit Bassi, said she had earlier argued in court that the statement of the rape victim was self-contradictory and victim’s father and mother were not made witnesses.

Sushma Swaraj asks WCD Min to probe Sherin Mathew’s adoption

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has requested Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi to probe the adoption process of 3-year-old Sherin Mathews, whose body was found in a culvert in suburban Dallas in the US.”After Baby Saraswati, Sherin Mathews’ case. Have requested Minister for Women and Child Development for a thorough investigation into the adoption process,” Swaraj tweeted on Friday.Sherin went missing on October 7, and her body was found on last Sunday from a culvert. Her father Wesley Mathews, 37, who was earlier arrested for suspected child endangerment for the treatment of his daughter but was released on bond, was re-arrested on Monday. He was charged with first-degree felony injury to a child due to conflicting statements given to the police.After requesting WCD Ministry to probe the girls’s adoption process, the Minister said the investigation into the case should be taken to a logical conclusion, and that henceforth all passports for adopted children will be issued only after an approval from the WCD Ministry.The nodal body for adoption in India, Child Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), has also written to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services for Hague Adoption seeking details into Sherin’s death, according to sources.According to official sources, four reports were sent to CARA by Holt International since her adoption on July 8, 2016. While the initial reports from the US described the girl to be adjusting well, officials at CARA said she had eating problems and was undernourished right from the time she was adopted. The girl was born on July 14, 2014 and was surrendered by parents in Gaya, Bihar. She was sent to an orphanage, Nalanda Mother Teresa Anaath Seva Ashram, which is now shut.

Class fight turns fatal in city school, 14-year-old boy dies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 14-year-old boy was killed after he got into a fight with his classmate during school, on Thursday morning. The police said that the boy fell unconscious after he was pushed and hit against a desk in his classroom. The accused boy has been apprehended.The incident took place around 11:45 am in northeast Delhi’s Karawal Nagar. According to senior police officers, the victim, Avdhesh, a student of seventh standard in Saraswati Vidhya Public School, who lived with his parents in Shiv Vihar, got into a quarrel with his classmate.”As told by the school authorities, during the fight, the other boy pushed Avdhesh and hit him against a desk, after which he fell unconscious. Other students of the class then informed the teachers and the boy was rushed a nearby nursing home in Indra Puri, Loni, where the doctors declared him brought dead,” informed a police officer.The police said the body was sent for a post-mortem examination, however, no injury marks were visible on the victim’s body. Parents were informed and a case was registered under relevant sections.DCP northeast, Ajit Singla said,”We have registered a case and the boy who had indulged in a fight with the deceased child has been apprehended. The matter is being probed, and teachers and other students, who are believed to have witnessed the incident, are being questioned to establish the sequence of incidents.”This, however, is not the only incident which has claimed the life of a student in a school. In August this year, a nine-year-old boy, studying in a private school in Ghaziabad, died under suspicious circumstances after he allegedly slipped and fell in the corridor of the second floor of the school. In July, a minor girl was raped in a private school cab in west Delhi by its driver and in January, a class two student died mysteriously in her school in Noida, after she fell unconscious while participating in a karate competition.The family of Avdhesh, however, claims that their child was beaten to death and the delay in providing immediate medical care led to his demise.”My younger son and Avdhesh both left for school normally. I got a call around 12:30 pm from school informing that my child is serious. When I reached the nursing home, I saw my child was dead. My younger son, who was in the classroom right next to where the incident took place saw his brother unconscious and raised an alarm,” said the child’s father, Arvind, who works as a labourer.He further alleged, the teachers and students were sent out of school and my child was not rushed to hospital as the school administration tried to treat him in school, on their own.”After failing, he was taken to a nursing home on a bike when my younger son pleaded with them. My son can identify the accused and we want police to arrest all the accused,” the father added.SCHOOL OF HORRORSAugust 2017A nine-year-old boy, studying in a private school in Ghaziabad, died under suspicious circumstances after he allegedly slipped and fell in a corridor of the school buildingJuly 2017A minor girl was raped in a private school cab in west Delhi by its driverJanuary 2017A class two student died mysteriously in her school in Noida after she fell unconscious while participating in a karate competitionSeptember 2016A four-year-old was sexually assaulted inside her school in West Delhi’s Vikaspuri areaJuly 2017A four-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her school van driver in outer Delhi’s Baba Haridass Nagar areaJune 2016A 17-year-old girl was gang raped by two men in a private school in Jagatpuri area of DelhiJanuary 2016A six-year-old boy was found dead in his school’s water reservoir in south Delhi’s Vasant Kunj

3-year-old Indian girl goes ‘missing’ in US after bizarre late-night punishment by father

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>One week since a three-year-old Indian girl vanished during an alleged incident of bizarre late-night punishment meted out by her Indian foster father, police in Richardson are yet to find a clue as to what happened to her, US media reports said today.Sherin Mathews vanished last Saturday after her father Wesley Mathews told police he left her outside at 3 a.m. as punishment for not drinking her milk.Mathews claimed that when he went to check on her around 3:15 am she was gone. Police said he waited five hours before reporting Sherin missing.During an interview with detectives, Wesley Mathews said he checked around his home for Sherin and then went back inside to do laundry. He was released from jail last Sunday after posting his USD 250,000 bond.Neighbours of the Indian-American couple have turned the tree across the backyard alley from Sherin s home in Richardson in Dallas, Texas into a memorial to the little girl. People have left teddy bears, balloons, angel figurines, a box of written prayers, and even a single gallon of milk, WFFA TV reported.It is the tree where her father Wesley claims he left the girl as punishment. He claims that when he came back to get her she was gone.Wesley has since been arrested, and bonded out, on a charge of child endangerment and ordered to wear an ankle monitor as the investigation continues. But after a week, with searches that included the help of the FBI, Richardson police tell News 8 on this 8th day of her disappearance that they have no new information to report.US Child Protective Services has taken custody of the couple’s older 4-year-old daughter and neither Wesley Mathews nor his wife have talked publicly about what happened.Police are still looking for any surveillance video or information that will help show them where the family s SUV went when it disappeared for an hour that morning.So far, tips from the public have not led to any definitive clues that could lead police to Sherin.”I pray every night, but I more pray the mama say the truth because this baby need to be in peace, and the people feeling bad need to be in peace too, said a local resident Silvia Johnson.Police are asking people to check surveillance footage for a maroon Acura SUV they say left the home an hour after Sherin disappeared.”We would like to thank those who have provided tips and video up to this point. We are diligently working our way through all of the material. We continue to request businesses and residents within a 30-minute drive of the 900 block of Sunningdale to check your video systems to see if there is any footage that may have captured a 2013 maroon Acura MDX SUV on Saturday, October 7th, between 4AM and 5AM, Richardson Police Department said recently in a Facebook post.Police have not said how they know the car was missing or who was driving. Investigators removed three of the family’s cars, including the Acura SUV, from the home earlier last week for analysis.Detectives have not said whether Wesley Mathews is a suspect, but they have cleared his wife Sini Mathews. Police previously said she was asleep and unaware her husband had made their daughter stand outside as punishment.”She is distraught. As you are all aware, they adopted Sherin, and they love Sherin,” Sini’s attorney Kent Starr said. “All she wants is for her daughter to be returned.” ​

Dibang Valley tops Beti Bachao plan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With an increase of 416 points, the Dibang Valley district in Arunachal Pradesh has seen the highest improvement under the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme, followed by Lakshadweep, Hamirpur (Himachal Pradesh), Kadapa (Karnataka) and Pulwama (Jammu and Kashmir), according to officials of the Ministry of Women and Child Development.Officials added that of the 161 districts with the worst sex ratio at birth (SRB), where the flagship programme of the BJP-led government was implemented, a total of 104 districts showed an increase in the SRB. “In 119 districts, the first trimester registration showed improvements, while 12 districts remained stable. In 146 districts, there were improvements in institutional delivery,” WCD secretary Rakesh Srivastava said, adding that the ministry was considering extending the scheme to all districts.In 2015-16, the SRB of Dibang Valley was 761 points, and it rose to 1,176 points in 2016-17. In Lakshadweep, there was a 122-point increase, from 832 to 955 points, while Hamirpur recorded an increase of 94 points, from 849 to 943 points.In Kadapa, there was a 74-point increase from 900 to 974 points, and Pulwama made a 69-point jump from 949 to 1018. The data, officials said, were computed till March 31, 2017.Officials added that while the districts were chosen on the child sex ratio (CSR) numbers from the 2011 census, the progress was counted on the basis of the SRB. The national CSR as per the 2011 census was 918, which means 918 girls were born for every 1,000 boys.SRB data is collected by state officials from the registrations of births and is eventually compiled to compute the CSR.In terms of secondary education, officials said that while the target was to ensure 76 to 79 per cent enrollment of girls in the 161 districts in 2016, they achieved 81 per cent enrollment. The target for 2017 was to have 85 per cent enrollment.”If we draw a vertical line across the map of India, states on the left side have low sex ratio,” said Srivastava, adding that despite the slow progress, things are looking up.In Haryana, the state with the worst child sex ratio (834), when the programme was launched, 14 of the 20 chosen districts showed an improvement, informed joint secretary K Moses Chalai. “In Rajasthan, of the 14 districts, 10 showed improvement, while in Punjab, which had the worst sex ratio after Haryana, 14 of the 20 districts showed an increase,” said Chalai.Chalai added that the districts with the highest points of decline in SRB were Manipur’s Saiha (898 from 1,022), Nicobar Islands (839 from 948), Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian (959 from 1,062) and Bandipur (885 from 964), and Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad (908 from 977).CAPITAL SHOWOf Delhi’s seven districts, four showed an increase, while the remaining three showed a decline in SRB from 2015-16 to 2016-17. Of those which saw an increase were Northwest Delhi (from 899 to 911), North Delhi (904 to 930), West Delhi (881 to 915), and Northeast Delhi (920 to 960). The districts that showed a decline were East Delhi (918 to 900), South Delhi (916 to 899) and Southwest Delhi (881 to 875).

Maneka Gandhi takes policy battle to PMO

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The contentious issue of cash transfers in lieu of nutrition has now reached the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), as two differing government bodies do not seem to have reached consensus on the matter.The idea, which was mooted by government think-tank Niti Aayog, did not get enthusiastic backing from the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development that implements the National Nutrition Mission and the Integrated Child Development Services.WCD officials felt that the beneficiaries — malnourished children and pregnant women — might not receive the rations if money exchanged hands. They noted that there was no guarantee that a family in need of money will use it for nutrition, and that this could spell a death knell for the ICDS scheme.Yet, as reported by DNA, on the insistence of the Niti Aayog, the WCD ministry sent a proposal to pilot it in some districts. However, earlier this week, WCD minister Maneka Gandhi called for a meeting at the PMO todiscuss the two conflicting nutrition policies.”The Niti Aayog has now been requested to study the matter and give its report. Since the suggestion was given by them, it was discussed in the meeting, and the PMO has asked Niti Aayog to give a report as the WCD ministry was not of the same view,” WCD secretary Rakesh Srivastava said on Friday while speaking to reporters, adding that the think-tank now has 15 days to submit a report.

Govt will get data on health parameters for women, children in real-time soon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Data on health parameters for nutrition of women and children in anganwadis will now be collected on a yearly basis. So far, the government has been relying on the decadal National Family Health Survey data. The Women and Child Development Ministry will collect data on stunted growth, weight, intake of nutrition, etc, on a real-time basis through the tablets they had launched in anganwadi centres. The secretary of the Women and Child Development Ministry, Rakesh Srivastava, said that since data will be collected in real-time, it will help identify different patterns in the data. He added that the exercise has helped the ministry find out if any state has misreported the number of beneficiaries. However, he said it was too soon to divulge the names of those states. Rahul Mullick of the Gates Foundation said that the ministry’s own data analysis will help it. “The NFHS is a survey and is dependent on the respondent’s reply. The CAS will be fed by anganwadi workers, who will collect this data as per set standards,” he said. These tablets will be sent to over 10 lakh anganwadi workers across the country. Android phones with an operating system version of 4.4 or above will be handed out, which supports 3G, 4G and wi-fi connectivity, with a screen size of 5 inch and a ram of 1GB.Dr Soumya Swaminathan of the ICMR said that the move will be very useful. “The NFHS data is usually delayed and comes after a gap of ten years, which is too long a time to look at changes. Real-time has its own advantages because timely feedback on the impact of any intervention allows for course correction,” said Dr Swaminathan. Gates foundation’s support The WCD Ministry signed a MoC with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in May last year. As per the agreement, the Gates Foundation was to provide technological support for exercise with ICT by developing and implementing the Common Application Software (CAS) under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS).

15-yr-old forced into marriage endured torture for two years

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 15-year-old girl of Jaga community who was forced to marry a person double her age around two years ago, was on Thursday rescued by the members of Child Welfare Committee (CWC) from her parent’s home in Kethoon town of Kota district. The minor girl, in a written complaint to State Commission for Woman and CWC, complained about harassment, thrashing and of forcibly marrying her off at an early age by parents and in-laws.The minor, three days ago also went to the police station, but instead of being heard, she was allegedly thrashed by female constables.The victim in her complaint alleged that she was forcibly married to a man of about 30 years after the death of her mother. Her father is a drug addict and a mentally retarded, she added. As she was continuously harassed at her in-laws’ home in Sathur village of Bundi district, she eventually returned to her parental home a few days ago.The husband of the minor victim, identified as Ravi Jaga came to Kethoon town to take her back with him, but she opposed it, the CWC chairman, Kota, Harish Gurubaxani said, adding that when the husband and members of the paternal family forced her to go to her in laws’ home, the victim along with her younger sister approached Kethoon police station. Probably out of fear, the younger sister had gone missing since this incident. A public representative from Kethoon town today morning sent a copy of victim’s complaint to CWC members and without losing time, along with the police personnel from Anti Human Trafficking approached Kethoon town and rescued the minor girl from home, CWC chairman Gurubaxani said. The minor victim has currently been sent to Children Home and following further investigation into the matter, a case would be lodged against those found responsible for the plight of the minor, the chairman said.The SHO at Kethoon police station, Pushpendra Singh Hada refuted all allegations leveled by the victim against the police at Kethoon police station and said the girl did reach the police station, but was no one misbehaved with her. The girl according to her birth certificate is an adult, he added.

Drunk father throws baby girl in drain

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Fed up over the constant crying of his one-and-a-half-year-old daughter, a man threw her in a drain in southeast Delhi’s Jamia Nagar area on late Tuesday night.According to the police, the child’s body was recovered from the drain on Thursday, almost 56 hours after her father, who claimed to be inebriated, had thrown her in a drain near their residence. Soon after the incident, the child’s mother Mofida informed police that around midnight her husband Rashid Zamal (40) had kidnapped their daughter and taken her to a secret location.Since the time the daughter was born, she used to fall sick quite often and on the day when Zamal was beating his wife, the child was unwell and was crying, a senior police officer said. Zamal, who was under the influence of liquor, was annoyed after hearing the child’s cries. “He picked up the child and banged the child’s head multiple times against the floor of the shanty they stayed in. His wife pleaded with him to stop but he did not listen to her. She then ran out to get help from her neighbours but the accused took the girl with him and ran away,” said the officer. Mofida informed the police and a search operation for the accused and the child began.After a few hours, the man was traced but he did not recollect about the incident and told police that he had left the child near one of the two drains running parallel to each other, the police said.

Maneka Gandhi, Prakash Javadekar to hold high-level meeting on safety, protection of children

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking note of the seriousness of incidents of child abuse in schools, the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Ministry of Human Resource Development will hold a high-level meeting on the safety and protection of children in schools, on Wednesday.The meeting will be co-chaired by the Minister of Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi and the Minister for Human Resource Development, Prakash Javdekar.The officials of the two ministries, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, CBSE, NCERT, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan will also participate in the meeting.Earlier, in a telephonic discussion, Maneka Gandhi requested Javadekar to consider suggestions like having women employees as the support staff and bus drivers/conductors in the schools, screening of educational films on child sexual abuse in the schools, popularising POCSO e-Box and Childline 1098 through NCERT publications and having strict norms for employing the support staff.Maneka Gandhi has also given the suggestions in her letter to the HRD Minister.The Ministry of Women and Child Development has already started its outreach campaign for protection of children through electronic as well as social media.Maneka Gandhi stated that the basic objective of the meeting of the two ministries is to develop a set of guidelines and protocols which schools must follow so that the children remain protected from any kind of abuse or physical/mental harm.The WCD Minister further stated that the parents, guardians and teachers should remain vigilant about the children as well as their behavior and any suspected situation should be reported immediately on the Childline No.1098 and the POCSO e-Box.This comes in the wake of the gruesome killing of a seven-year-old at the Ryan International School in Gurugram.

Cops direct E Delhi school to join probe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After a five-year-old child was sexually assaulted inside the Tagore Public School in east Delhi’s Gandhi Nagar area, the Delhi Police have asked the school authorities to join the investigation. Also, the child’s statement has been recorded under Section 164 of the CrPc.The Delhi Police are also investigating whether the school was following the safety guidelines. It seems there were no CCTV cameras installed in the passage where the accused took the child. She is yet to recover completely.Meanwhile, the child’s father said that at the time of the incident, extra classes were being held and there were not many staffers inside the school. “The accused took her inside the store room and no one even noticed it. Where were the teachers and the security staffers? Now my daughter is refusing to go to school. We had shifted her to this school just six months ago,” he said.”We went by the brand name of the school and enrolled our daughter. She is in a state of shock and is being counselled,” her mother said. The parents also alleged that the class teacher reached the hospital and tried to convince them to not reveal the school’s name. On Saturday afternoon, a school staffer allegedly raped the Class I student in a store room. The Delhi government has ordered a magisterial probe into the incident. The report has to be submitted within three days.CASE SO FARThe child’s statement has been recorded under Section 164 of the CrPc.
Parents allege a teacher tried to get them to not reveal the school’s name.

Hyderabad: 11-year-old school girl made to stand inside boys toilet for not wearing proper uniform

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a shocking incident, an 11-year-old school girl was made to stand inside the boys’ toilet as a punishment for not wearing the proper uniform in Hyderabad.The incident took place in Rao’s High School near BHEL area.”When I was walking up to my class room; my PT teacher stopped me and enquired about my uniform. I told the truth that my mother washed it so I could not wear the uniform. I also tried to explain that my parents have written a note in my school diary for the excuse. However, the teacher did not listen to me and continued to shout. She later pulled me to the boys’ toilet and made me stand there,” victim told news agency ANI.In a video shot by the girl’s father, the Class 5 student also said that the teachers started screaming at her. “I got scared and didn’t say anything. There were 2-3 teachers including English teachers and tenth class Telugu teacher,” the victim said.Describing to her father the sequence of events, the girl said, “Standard IV students saw me and laughed. After sometime, my PT teacher allowed me to go back to the class and asked to not repeat the mistake. Later, she discussed the matter with other teachers too. I have decided that I won’t go back to the school.”Following the incident, several child rights activists have demanded to register a case against the school under the Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. “We want to press criminal charges against the school and teachers. How can they act in such an insensitive manner,” said Child rights activist Achyuta Rao.

Anganwadi centres declared tobbaco free

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The tobacco products can no longer be sold near Anganbadi Centers in Rajasthan. The director of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), in a fresh order released to deputy directors and child development project directors, said like different health facilities and education institutes, the Anganbadi centers from on is being declared ‘tobacco free’.The move comes in order to comply with the rules of Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA).As per the order issued by Shuchi Sharma, ICDS director, all Anganbadi centers will be developed as ‘tobacco free’ zone, where any use of product or pan masala by any visitor or employee is banned.”Anganbadi Centers are the place that belongs to children between age of 0-6 years, mothers and pregnant women. Hence, it is necessary to keep these centers tobacco free to save them from ill effects,” the order issued by ICDS director read.There are around 68,000 Anganbadi centers in Rajasthan. As per the order, any sell or advertisement and display of any tobacco product has been banned within 100 yards of Anganbadi Center and signage boards of 30X60 cm size, bearing warning will have to be displayed at each center. Order allows use of untied fund available at village health sanitation and nutrition committee.”It is a big step forward for public health in the state,” Priyanka Lodha, programme officer at Vaagdhara, an NGO working for tobacco free Rajasthan said. “Effective implementation and enforcement of COTPA near Anganbadis will ensure safety of our children and mothers from ill effects of tobacco. The government should take measure to control the availability of tobacco products by coming up with a vendor licensing policy to sell tobacco products,” she added.FOR SAFETYDirector of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), in a fresh order released to deputy directors and child development project directors, said like different health facilities and education institutes, the Anganbadi centers from on is being declared ‘tobacco free’.

Cops nab 3 in Ludhiana for kidnapping kid

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi police on Saturday arrested three people accused of allegedly kidnapping a five-year-old-child and demanding a ransom of Rs 10 lakh. The child has been safely rescued and reunited with the family.The child’s father expressed suspicion about the two accused, Surender and Sunil, who were his tenants, as both of them were nowhere to be seen after the complaint was registered. Then, the police scanned the CCTV footage of nearby areas and saw the child walking hand-in-hand with the accused. The mobile phones of the accused were put on surveillance and it was found that they had moved to Ludhiana, Punjab.”Meanwhile, the boy’s father was able to talk to Surender, who demanded Rs 10 lakh for the child’s release. A police team conducted a raid on Friday in Ludhiana and rescued the child and held three persons,” said Pankaj Kumar Singh, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Outer).

India urges ‘restraint and maturity’ in dealing with violence against Rohingyas, stays mum on intake of refugees

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Saturday, the Ministry of External Affairs put out a statement on the situation in Rakhine state in Myanmar and the outflow of Rohingya Muslims from the area.The statement added that PM Modi had expressed his concern at the ‘casualties of security forces as well as innocent lives’ and that India will provide assistance under the Rakhine State Development Programme.The statement adds: “’We would urge that situation be dealt with restraint and maturity focussing on welfare of civilian popular and those of security forces. it is imperative violence is ended and normalcy restored.”States can’t send back Rohingyas: UNCRAs India plans to deport Rohingya Muslim immigrants, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) on Friday said the principle of non-refoulement – or not sending back refugees to a place where they face danger – is binding on all states.In an e-mail response to PTI’s questions on the Rohingyas in India, the UN body said the principle is considered a part of customary international law and therefore is binding on all states, whether they have signed the Refugee Convention or not.”In addition, India is party to major international human rights instruments, such as International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, Convention on the Rights of the Child,” it said.Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju had recently said the Rohingyas, whether they are registered under the UNHCR or not, are “illegal immigrants in India and hence they stand to be deported”.The Rohingyas Muslim minority in the Rakhine state of Myanmar have been fleeing to Bangladesh and India amid reports of alleged ethnic purging and persecution.Over the past few months, they have fled in their thousand because of military action against militancy in the state and the ensuing violence and arson.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier this week visited Myanmar where he held talks with the country’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi.Asked if there was any change in India’s stance vis-a-vis the Rohingyas after Modi’s visit, it said, “UNHCR has not received any official communication from the government regarding any changes to its approach on refugees.” It, however, said there were no reported instances of deportation of the UNHCR-registered Rohingyas from India.Some 16,500 Rohingya from Myanmar are registered with the UNHCR in India. About 40,000 are said to be staying illegally.The UN body also appreciated the protection given by India to “vulnerable” refugees and its “long and proud” history of solidarity with the people fleeing violence.According to estimates, Hyderabad is home to about 3,600 Rohingyas, taking shelter here under a UNHCR programme.”They are not willing to go back to Myanmar,” a volunteer with an NGO working for them said requesting anonymity.Sources in the Rohingya camp here say they are apprehensive about their future if they are deported and fear that they would be killed or subjected to torture back home.”There are about 3,600 Rohingyas, who are UNHCR card holders. Most of them are illiterate. We have not seen any fresh arrivals after the recent incidents in Maynmar. Whoever lives in the camp (in old city area) is not willing to go back as they fear for their lives,” one of them said.”Lot of them are very worried about the situation in Myanmar. If India does not want them, where will they go? They fear that they would be killed if they go back to Myanmar,” they added. With inputs from PTI

Dera chief arrest: Forensic team inspects Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s ‘sex cave’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A team of forensic experts today inspected the so-called ‘gufa’ (cave) at Dera Sacha Sauda where its rape convict head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh allegedly used to sexually exploit women.The ‘gufa’ was inspected by the forensic experts from IIT Roorkee as part of sanitisation of the sprawling ‘dera’ campus here, an official of the Haryana government said.According to the rape victim, on whose complaint the dera chief was convicted by a CBI court on August 25, Ram Rahim would sexually exploit girls in the ‘gufa’, said to be his residence.”A forensic team from IIT Roorke reached the Dera during the day today. They started inspection of Dera’s Gufa,” said Haryana’s Information and Public Relations Department Deputy Director, Satish Mehra, who has been authorised by the administration to speak to the media.”The forensic experts were also coordinating with other teams which were already inside taking part in the sanitisation and search operation,” Mehra told reporters.A number of Dera followers who had parted ways with Ram Rahim have told the media earlier that except for the Dera chief and his close aides, nobody was allowed to enter the ‘gufa’ or private area of his residence.The woman, who had dared to complain against Ram Rahim, had alleged that she had been sexually exploited by the dera chief after being called there.She had said that prior to her exploitation, she would see some of the girls coming out of the ‘gufa’ weeping.Girls were deployed as security persons at the entrance of a ‘guffa’, the victim had said.Mehra said various teams engaged in the sanitisation process are working as per the directions given by Court Commissioner, who was appointed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.He said five boys were found inside the dera premises today, two of whom are minor. “The minor boys hail from Kaithal (in Haryana) and Uttar Pradesh. Both have been handed over to theDistrict Child Protection Officer,” Mehra said.When asked what they were doing inside the campus, he said the District Child Protection officer will quiz them about this.”Regarding other three we are asking them about their whereabouts and will later send them home,” he said.He said a walkie-talkie set has also been recovered from inside the dera today.”Whatever articles are being found, the district administration has taken these into their custody and will follow the orders given by the Court Commissioner,” Mehra said.The sanitisation exercise is being conducted amid tight security by police and paramilitary personnel, besides senior officials of various government departments.The process, which began around 8 am, is being videographed and monitored by retired District and Sessions Judge A K S Pawar, who was appointed as a Court Commissioner by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday to oversee the exercise.The Haryana government had filed a plea on Friday seeking permission for the sanitisation process under judicial supervision, after the conviction of the sect chief, now in a Rohtak jail.The HC appointed a court commissioner for the purpose earlier this week.A report of the entire exercise will be submitted to the high court by the court commissioner, with a copy to the state government.

Blue Whale: Parents body plans awareness drive

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the deaths of several teenagers across the country suspected to be linked to the Blue Whale Suicide challenge, parents across the country are now planning to organise mass awareness campaigns.The India-wide Parents Association (IWPA) has already started spreading awareness about the hazards of the game via social media. The association now plans to conduct awareness drives in over 15 states.“The craze for this game seems to be spreading at a very fast rate among young children. As parents, there are a lot of concerns that we have about how to keep children away from falling prey to this challenge. We have already started spreading awareness with the help of social media forums and various messaging applications about ways in which parents can ensure their child’s safety. The association will soon also organise a series of awareness drives across the country. Cyber experts will be invited to speak to parents, teachers, school managements etc, on how to address this menace and keep children away from it,” said Anubha Sahai, President, IWPA.The campaign will run in several major cities including Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Chandigarh. “We plan to work on multiple levels so that children from the country stay away from this menace,” Sahai said.Recently, Union Minister for Women & Child Development Maneka Gandhi wrote to schools across the country, asking them to take immediate steps to protect children from the Blue Whale challenge. In a letter dated August 31, Gandhi said she had asked the Ministry of Information Technology to find a technological solution so that downloading of this game could be prevented.The most recent suspected case related to the challenge is the death of a 17-year-old boy who committed suicide by standing before a running train in Damoh district of Madhya Pradesh.

Cash may replace food in nutrition scheme

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre is toying with the idea of giving cash benefits instead of nutritional benefits to Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) beneficiaries, including malnourished children and pregnant and lactating mothers. Government think tank National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog had mooted the idea and now the Women and Child Development Ministry has forwarded the proposal, along with a few others, to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).If approved, the project will first be implemented on a pilot basis in a few districts. The other suggestions included increasing the per day benefit emolument for each beneficiary.It has been revealed that before making the recommendations, the NITI Aayog had carried out a set of consultations with representatives of states, health experts, NGOs, and WCD and Health ministries, late last year. One of the key areas discussed included linking of Aadhaar to beneficiaries of nutrition schemes.But, apparently, the WCD ministry is not too keen on the idea of cash benefits for ICDS beneficiaries. A WCD official said the monetary scheme is highly unlikely to be a success. “It is unlikely that the parents will use this money for the purpose of nutrition,” the official said.

In a first, NCERT develops curriculum for pre-schools, likely to be followed by 2018-19

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pre-schools in the country will now be able to follow a well-designed, fixed curriculum for teaching 3 to 6-years-old children, as the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has developed a curriculum for pre-schools to help prepare children for Class 1.This is for the first time that a government agency will be giving a fixed curriculum for pre-schools, which otherwise do not have any fixed curriculum. The elementary education department of NCERT has been working on developing a curriculum in five centres — Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Mysore, Ajmer and Delhi.”Our pre-school centres had been researching on developing a curriculum for pre-schools, and we are hoping to implement it by 2018-19 academic session. We will provide the curriculum to all private schools across the country,” a senior official at NCERT said.”Most pre-schools do not follow a fixed curriculum, some start with teaching alphabets and numbers to students while others only teach them to sing rhymes and play games. This new curriculum has been designed keeping in mind the cognitive and emotional level of children,” he added.The NCERT curriculum will have more of activity and less of cramming up alphabets and numbers; an exercise the experts at NCERT say will be helpful for the psychological development of the child.The curriculum spans over two years, which could either be used for Nursery and lower KG or upper KG and lower KG — which is basically aimed at preparing children for Class 1.So far, government schools used to admit children beginning from Class 1 but they are also working on a plan to link Anganwadis to schools to start their own pre-schools. Some states like Telangana and Rajasthan already have pre-schools, but the ministry of human resource development alongwith ministry of women and child development is working on a pan-India plan.Ministry of Women and Child Development has developed National Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) policy for children from 3-6 years of age. The policy encompasses elements of care, health, nutrition, play and early learning within a protective and enabling environment. As per the policy, there should be an age and developmentally appropriate, child-centric curriculum translated in mother tongue/local vernacular.

SC dismayed over prevalance of child marriage despite law against it

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court expressed dismay over the prevalence of the practice of child marriage despite the existence of the Child Marriage Prohibition Act and termed as unfortunate that this was being done mostly at the behest of girl child’s parents.The court was hearing a plea questioning the validity of a provision permitting a man to have physical relationship with his wife, even if she was aged between 15 and 18 years.During the hearing, the top court said striking down of such provision in section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) would amount to creating an offence.Section 375 of the IPC, which defines the offence of rape, has an exception clause that says intercourse or sexual act by a man with his wife, not below 15 years, is not rape.”It is a hard reality and is unfortunate that most of the child marriages happening in the country are done by parents of the girl child. However, to this, there are odd exceptions when a minor boy and girl fall in love and marry on their own,” a bench of Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said.It also sought to know whether it can create an offence by striking down the exception 2 of section 375 of IPC which the Parliament has refused to do.Advocate Gaurav Agarwal, appearing for NGO Independent Thought, said by amendment to CrPC in 2013, the age of consent for sexual intercourse by a girl, which was earlier 16 years has now been increased to 18 years.He said that exception 2 to section 375 of the IPC still retains the age of consent as 15 years, due to which there is a huge gap of three years in the age of consent for a married girl child and an unmarried girl.Agarwal, assisted by advocate Vikram Shrivatava, said that exception 2 to section 375 of the IPC was discriminatory and violate Article 14 of the Constitution.Taking note of the arguments, the bench said, “We have to accept this hard reality. These kind of marriages are still happening in the country and if we are going to strike down this exception, then what would happen to the child born from such marriages. We have to keep all aspects in mind.” Agarwal said the court can strike down the exception like it did recently in the practice of triple talaq among Muslims for being arbitrary and discriminatory.He contended that this classification has no rationale nexus with the object sought to be achieved as the reasoning behind increasing the age of consent to 18 years in 2013, was that a girl below that age is incapable of realising the consequences of her consent.”If this is the object for increasing the age of consent to 18 years of age, then marriage of girl between the age of 15-17 years does not make the girl mature enough (mentally or physically) for the purpose of consent. Thus, it is discriminatory,” Agarwal said.He cited the fourth National Family Health Survey of 2015-16, and said there were 26.8 per cent of brides in the country who were married below the age of 18 years of age.In the third Survey of 2005-06, the figure was even larger and 46 per cent of women (23 million brides) were married before the age of 18 in the country, he added.The Centre, in its affidavits, had admitted that child marriage were still happening in the country due to uneven economic and educational development.”It has been therefore decided to retain the age of 15 years under exception 2 of section 375 of IPC, so as to give protection to husband and wife against criminalising the sexual activity between them,” it had said.It had said that lawmakers had taken a pragmatic view regarding the issue of ‘marital rape’ as marriage being a social institution was the bedrock of any society and hence, needs to be protected.”Exception 2 of section 375 of IPC envisages that if the marriage is solemnized at the age of 15 years due to traditions, it should not be a reason to book the husband in the case of offence under the IPC,” it had said.The Centre also gave details of number of prosecutions that have been instituted over the last three years.The apex court had on August 9 said the raging issue whether to make forced marital intercourse and sexual acts, part of offence of rape in penal law, has been extensively debated and it cannot be considered as a criminal act.Earlier, the apex court had in 2015, made National Commission for Women (NCW) party to explain how the offence of rape in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) afforded an exception to a man to have physical relationship with his minor wife and still not qualify it as crime.The NGO in its petition sought direction to declare exception 2 to Section 375 of the IPC as “violative of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution to the extent that it permits intrusive sexual intercourse with a girl child aged between 15 and 18 years, only on the ground that she has been married.”It has also referred to the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), 2012, and said these provisions were contrary to the IPC provision.The POCSO provision provides that physical relationship with a minor constitutes the offence of rape and it does not exclude such relationship between a man and his minor wife.

Police complaint filed against Rishi Kapoor for posting ‘pornographic image of a child’ on Twitter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A police complaint was filed against Rishi Kapoor for allegedly sharing an offensive picture of a child from his social media handle. The complaint was lodged by Advocate Adil Khatri of a Mumbai-based NGO.According to the Indian Express, the complaint was filed because the veteran actor had posted a ‘nude and pornographic image of a child on Twitter handle’.Khatri said that he wanted to teach Kapoor a lesson because he ‘played with cyber laws’. Khatri told Indian Express: “We have filed a complaint with Mumbai Police Commissioner, Mumbai Cyber Cell and Ministry of Woman and Child Development against actor Rishi Kapoor for posting nude and pornographic image of a child on his Twitter account @chintskap.”He added: “We don’t know who the child in the picture is, but it is offensive as the child is naked and a headphone has been stuck into his private parts.”Kapoor often gets in trouble for his tweets, and the last time he caused outrage was when he made sexist joke about Team India captain Mithali Raj during the Women’s World Cup final.

UDF opposition members boycotts proceedings

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The opposition Congress-led UDF members boycotted the assembly proceedings for the fourth consecutive and final day of sitting today demanding resignation of Health and Social Welfare Minister K K Shylaja for alleged ‘nepotism and misuse of power’. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, while replying to a notice for an adjournment motion on the adverse remark made by High Court against Shylaja, asserted that there was no need for the minister to resign as she had not done anything illegal. The government had already moved the High Court to expunge the remark against the minister. “I do not want to go more into the case as it is pending before the court”, Vijayan said. “There is no need for the minister to resign on the basis of remark made by the court in a case in which the minister was not a respondent”, Vijayan said. Opposition members, who came with banners and placards, squatted in the well of the House, raised slogans and did not participate in the question hour. They brought to the notice of the speaker the sit-in dharna at the portal of the assembly hall by the UDF MLAs V P Sajeendran, N Shamsuddin, Roji M John, Eldose Kunnappally and T V Ibrahim in support of their demand for the resignation of the minister. Opposition alleged that the Minister had misused power to select one of the partymen in the Kerala State Commission For Protection Of Child Rights and ‘messed up’ admission process in self-financing medical colleges in the state for the current academic year. UDF sources said that the sit-in dharan would end with the House adjourns sine die. After the reply of Chief Minister, Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan refused leave for the motion and opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said that it was difficult for them to cooperate with the proceedings with Shylaja continued as minister and trooped out of the House. “Even after severe criticism against the government and the minister by the High Court in the case connected with medical admissions, Shylaja was clinging to power,” Chennithala alleged. The health minister was under attack over strictures passed against her by the court while quashing the appointment of two members, including a CPI-M leader, to the Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child rights. Meanwhile, Kerala Lokayukta today ordered a probe into the allegations of nepotism and misuse of power in the selection of member to Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights. Lokayukta passed the order in a petition filed Ramesh Chennithala, officials at the Opposition leader’s office said. Lokayukta has also directed the minister to submit all files before September 14.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

The child’s maths lesson video that is outraging India

Indian cricketers are among those disgusted by the girl’s treatment, reports the BBC’s Geeta Pandey.

Kailash Satyarthi announces ‘Bharat Yatra’ on child sexual abuse and trafficking

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi is embarking on a historic ‘Bharat Yatra’ to spearhead the fight against child trafficking and child sexual abuse across the country. Announcing the Bharat Yatra with the parents of the survivors, Satyarthi said, ?I declare a war on child sexual abuse and trafficking. Today I am announcing Bharat Yatra, the biggest movement in history to make India safe again for children. I refuse to accept that the innocence, smiles and freedom of our children can keep getting stripped and raped. These are not ordinary crimes. This is a moral epidemic haunting our nation.? ?This yatra is the manifestation of my belief in ?Surakshit Bachpan-Surakshit Bharat?. The yatra will pass through 22 states covering 15,000 Kms and union territories over 35 days. The yatra will flag off from Kanyakumari on the 11th of September from the Vivekanand Memorial, commemorating the anniversary of the great leader?s address at Chicago in 1893. Guwahati will lead the yatra from the eastern part of the country, while Srinagar will flag off the northern stretch. The culmination of the Yatra will be in the national capital on 15th of October,? said Satyarthi. Satyarthi won the Nobel Peace prize (2014) for his continuous campaign, efforts and struggle for the rights of children, across the globe for the past 36 years. He has led the historic Global March Against Child Labour in 1998 that prompted the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to pass international conventions against the worst form of child labour, in addition to the Shiksha Yatra in 2001, after which the Right to Education was included as a fundamental right in the Constitution of India. Bharat Yatra is the launch of the three-year campaign against child rape and child sexual abuse which is aimed at increasing awareness and reporting of the cases, strengthening intuitional response including medical health and compensations, ensuring protection for victims and witnesses during trials and increasing convictions of child sexual abuse in a time bound manner. The campaign is expected to reach one crore stakeholders of the country. The curtain raiser to this march in Delhi saw the launch of the video for the Bharat Yatra, which highlighted the appeal of children across the country to unite and fight for their freedom, safety and security. The launch also saw families of victims of trafficking and abuse who narrated the emotional and physical trauma they had to endure because of the misdeeds of a few. The families pledged their support hoping that it would bring about the revolution; the country needs to sustain its fight against the exploitation of children.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

5 Oppn MLAs launch satyagraha in Assembly complex

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Five opposition UDF MLAs today began satyagrah in the assembly complex, demanding the resignation of Minister K K Shylaja over the high court’s stricture against her in connection with the appointment of members in the state child rights panel. Legislators of the Congress-led UDF V P Sajeendran, N Shamsuddin, Roji M John, Eldose Kunnappally and T V Ibrahim began the agitation at the portal of the Assembly hall. Armed with the recent court order that quashed the appointment of members to the Kerala State Commission For Protection Of Child Rights, the opposition attacked the CPI (M)-led LDF government, alleging nepotism and misuse of power by the Health and Social Justice minister. In a bid to put pressure on the government, they also decided to boycott the minister in the assembly and objected to the tabling of the Kerala Medical Education Bill by her. The MLAs trooped out of the House after tearing off the copy of the Bill. They alleged that the CPI(M)-led LDF government had extended the last date for submitting applications for the appointment of members in the panel with a view to induct party men. Earlier in the day, the opposition had disrupted the House proceedings during zero hour over the issue but had agreed to cooperate with the proceedings later after a discussion with the Speaker, P Sreeramakrishnan. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala alleged that it was one of the biggest examples of nepotism by a minister. Stating that continuation of the minister in the cabinet was a “disgrace” to the democratic principles, he said a number of Congress ministers had resigned in the name of adverse court remarks in the past. Both Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the Health Minister, however, rejected the charges and said the government would take legal measures to get the remarks against her expunged. They also said the date was extended with a good intention and expressed confidence that the government would be able to convince the Court about its position. Talking to reporters at the media room in the Assembly complex later, Shylaja said she had not done anything wrong and so “there is no need to resign”. She also said she was not a party in the particular case, in which the High Court had made the observation and expected that the court would hear her version and expunge the remarks. “The government extended the last date for submitting applications for the posts with good intention to get efficient persons in the panel,” she said. The minister also rejected the opposition charge that the induction of one Suresh, a CPI(M) leader from Wayanad, as member in the panel, was a political one. On his appointment being quashed by the High Court, she said it had not questioned the qualification and efficiency of Suresh, but only observed that valid reasons for extending the last date were not given.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Rape victim, 10, delivers baby after India court bars abortion

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>By Rina Chandran MUMBAI, Aug 17 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A 10-year-old rape victim who was denied an abortion by India’s top court gave birth on Thursday in a case that has drawn outrage about the sexual abuse of children. The girl did not know she was pregnant and was unaware she had delivered a baby; her parents told their daughter she was undergoing stomach surgery to remove a stone. “The girl is doing fine, she is recovering. We expect she will be discharged early next week,” said Dasari Harish, who heads a committee overseeing the girl’s care. The girl, whose identity has been kept secret, delivered a girl by Caesarean section in a state hospital in the northwestern city of Chandigarh, said Harish, who is a hospital physician. “The parents of the girl have refused to take custody of the child, and have agreed to her adoption through the state agency. They said they don’t even want to see the child,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Local media reports said the girl had been raped by an uncle and that he was now under arrest. The pregnancy was discovered when the child was taken to the hospital last month after complaining of stomach pains, and was found to be about 30 weeks pregnant. COURT CONTROVERSY A local court refused to grant the child an abortion, saying it was too risky at such a late stage. A plea in the Supreme Court was dismissed for the same reason on July 28. Indian law prohibits terminations at more than 20 weeks unless the mother’s life is in danger or in exceptional circumstances. An increasing number of such cases have come to the courts in recent years. In May, a court allowed another 10-year-old girl allegedly raped by her stepfather to undergo an abortion. As many as 10,854 cases of child rape were reported in India in 2015, according to the National Crime Records Bureau. Activists say that awareness of, and reporting of, sexual violence against women has risen since a fatal gang-rape of a student on a bus in New Delhi in 2012, which sparked nationwide protests and a tightening of the law. But sexual violence against children still remains a taboo topic, with most cases going unreported.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Kerala: Teen commits suicide to allegedly complete ‘Blue Whale’ challenge

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Parents of a sixteen-year-old boy who committed suicide on July 26, raised doubts that it was due to the Blue Whale Challenge game that their son ended his life.Manoj, a native of Vilappilsala in Trivandrum committed suicide by hanging himself at his residence.on Tuesday, the Class 11 student’s mother informed the police that she suspected her son committed suicide as he was playing the Blue Whale Challenge.According to reports, the boy’s mother told a media channel that her son had downloaded the game in November last year.”He said in the last stage of the game, one should either commit suicide or murder someone. I got scared after hearing it and asked my son not to play the game. My son had once hurt himself using a compass and jumped into a river though he did not know how to swim. He was later rescued. Before he took the extreme step, my son had deleted the game from his mobile phone.”
ALSO READ Centre asks online giants to delete Blue Whale linksKerala Police had registered a case of unnatural death then and concluded it to be a personal problem.Earlier in the day, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology took a strict measure against the deadly online game, Blue whale Challenge and asked social media giants like Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Microsoft and Yahoo to immediately remove all the links relating to the game.
ALSO READ Blue Whale Challenge: Govt asks Google, Facebook and others to remove links to online suicide game immediately”Instances of children committing suicide while Blue Whale Challenge have been reported in India…You are hereby requested to ensure that any such link of this deadly game in its own name or similar game is immediately removed from your platform,” stated the ministry, in a letter, to the internet majors.Taking the cognizance of the recent deaths in Mumbai and West Bengal, the ministry said the proponent of Blue Whale Challenge should be reported to law enforcement agencies.On August 14, a series of tweets were put out by Ministry of Child and Development stating that Maneka Gandhi has taken up the matter with Home Minister Rajnath Singh and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.On August 12, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had urged the Centre to take immediate steps to ban the Blue Whale Challenge in the country “to save precious lives”.The deadly online ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ game, however, is reportedly a suicide game that challenges players for over 50 days, wherein demanding them to complete tasks given by an anonymous controller.

11-month-old crushed by reversing car

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An 11-month-old baby was killed days before his first birthday after he allegedly came under the wheels of his neighbour’s car in outer Delhi’s Ranhola area, the police said today. The incident, which was reported last evening, occurred when a man was reversing his car, they said. The child, Lakshya, was playing outside his house when he came under the wheels of the car. His mother has alleged that she had signalled the driver to stop reversing the vehicle, but he did not pay heed, the police said He was rushed to a nearby hospital where doctors declared him brought dead, they said. The child’s first birthday was next week. The matter is being investigated, the police said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Maneka seeks removal of Blue Whale Challenge

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister Maneka Gandhi has written to home and IT ministers, asking them to remove online suicide game ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ from social media. A class 10 student from West Midnapore allegedly committed suicide last week and is suspected to be the latest casualty of this fatal game. “@Manekagandhibjp on Monday took up the matter with Home Minister @rajnathsingh and IT Minister @rsprasad and has requested that the challenge be removed from social media by suitable intervention,” the Ministry of Child and Development said in a series of tweets. The letter also mentions that the deadly game is believed to have led to nearly 100 deaths in the US, China and other countries. The apex body for child rights, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), has also written to the ministry of electronics and information technology thrice on the matter since May asking it to identify violators, according to a ministry spokesperson. The blue whale game is a 50-day challenge which demands that players complete tasks given by an anonymous “handler”. The “handler” instructs the players to cause self-harm, leading up to suicide. Last week, the staff of a Dehradun school stopped a class five student from killing himself and Pune Police rescued a boy who was on his way to complete the challenge. The lethal trend in the country came to light when a 14- year-old boy jumped off the fifth floor of a building in Mumbai earlier this month. According to the police, his friends linked the death the challenge. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, too, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week asking the Centre to ban the game.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

8-month-old boy dies after swallowing balloon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An eight-month-old boy died of suffocation after swallowing a rubber balloon here, a police official said today. The infant was playing in his house at Hanuman Nagar in the city’s Cidco locality yesterday when he picked up the balloon lying on the floor and swallowed it, an official at Ambad police station said. The child started choking following which his parents rushed him to a private hospital. The authorities there suggested the boy’s father to shift him to the civil hospital where doctors declared him dead, he said. After the child swallowed the balloon, it slipped into his wind pipe and he died of suffocation, Dr Anand Pawar, the medical officer of Nashik civil hospital, said. The Ambad police registered a case of accidental death, the police official said. The child’s father hails from Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh. He worked as a labourer in Nashik where he was staying with his family, he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Martial rape not penal offence, Parliament debated it: SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The raging issue whether to make forced martial intercourse and sexual acts part of offence of rape in penal law has been extensively debated and now it cannot be considered as a criminal act, the Supreme Court today said. Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which defines the offence of rape, has an exception clause that says the intercourse or sexual act by a man with his wife, not below 15 years, is not a rape. The apex court, however, sought to know as to whether Parliament debated the aspect of protecting married girls, between the age group of 15-18 years, from the forced sexual acts by their spouses. It also asked whether the court could intervene to protect the rights of such married girls who may be sexually exploited by their spouses. “Parliament has extensively debated the issue of marital rape and considered that it was not an offence of rape. Therefore, it cannot be considered as a criminal offence,” a bench of justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said. The apex court also said that marriage of a girl, who is below the age of 15 years, was “illegal”. “There are cases when college-going teens, below 18 years of age, engage in sexual activities consensually and get booked under the law. Who is going to suffer? The boy is not at fault. The punishment of seven years is too harsh,” the bench observed. It said, similarly, problem arises when a girl, under 18 years of age, elopes and engages in consensual sexual activity, the male gets booked for rape. “In these cases, we do have problem if look at various aspects,” the bench said as it asked the Centre to apprise it about the number of prosecutions under the Child Marriage Act for past three years in three weeks. It also asked Centre to apprise it about appointment of the Child Marriage Prohibition Officers (CMPO) under statutory provisions in the country and posted the matter for hearing after four weeks. The bench was hearing a plea questioning the constitutionality of a provision permitting a man to have physical relationship with his wife even if she is aged between 15 and 18. The apex court said according to prevailing law, if a man has physical intercourse with a girl under 15 years of age, it is termed as rape irrespective of “consent or no consent” and if she is below 18 years of age, but more than 15 and married, then no offence of rape is made out. Advocate Gaurav Agarwal appearing for NGO Independent Thought said that distinction made in between 18 and 15 is illegal and unconstitutional. “Parliament cannot impinge upon Article 21 by allowing the girl to marry under 18 years of age and allowing her to get pregnant or have intercourse. The Parliament should have considered various reports of the United Nations,” he said. He said that a girl in the age group of 15-18 is not that physically developed and she is not capable of taking an informed decision or consent. “The State has failed to protect her as there is no protection for her is she is below 18. Above 18 years of age she is developed and can think of coming out of abusive relationship,” the lawyer said. Senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam, who was part of the Justice J S Verma Committee constituted in the aftermath of the December 16 gangrape in Delhi and was present in the courtroom said, they had considered various aspects and after that, suggestion to criminalise marital rape was made. The committee was headed by former Chief Justice J S Verma and comprised former judge Leila Seth and Subramaniam. “Without any renumeration we have submitted the report to the government and that too without any extension. It was an exhaustive work,” he said. Advocate Binu Tamta appearing for Centre said that keeping the social and economic conditions of the country in mind, the Parliament has kept the age of 15 as threshold. “It has been considered pragmatically and every aspect was considered by the Parliament,” she said, adding that keeping the child marriage prevalent in some societies it has been done. Earlier, the apex court had in 2015, made National Commission for Women (NCW) party to explain how the offence of rape in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) afforded an exception to a man to have physical relationship with his minor wife and still not qualify it as crime. The NGO in its petition sought direction to declare exception 2 to Section 375 of the IPC as “violative of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution to the extent that it permits intrusive sexual intercourse with a girl child aged between 15 and 18 years, only on the ground that she has been married.” It has also referred to the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), 2012, and said these provisions were contrary to the IPC provision. The POCSO provision provides that physical relationship with a minor constitutes the offence of rape and it does not exclude such relationship between a man and his minor wife.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Govindas assured Rs 10 lakh insurance after HC decision

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dahi Handi pathaks on Monday welcomed the Bombay High Court decision not to impose restrictions on the height of human pyramids during the Dahi Handi festival, and the state government’s stand that it would abide by the statutory provisions laid down under the Child and Adolescent (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, which prevents children below the age of 14 from being employed, including in Dahi Handi.”We are satisfied with the decision from the High Court,” said Arun Patil, coach of Sarvajanik Govinda Pathak in Mazgaon.”Safety measures will be our top priority while forming the human pyramids. We will be reminding organisers to arrange for cushioned mats and other safety measures while the pathaks form the pyramids. Even if we wanted the Govindas minimum age limit to be 12, we are satisfied and happily accept the 14-year age limit for minor Govindas,” said Patil.From this year, all Govindas will receive an insurance cover of Rs 10 lakh as compared to the Rs 2.5 lakh they received till last year.Geeta Zagade, secretary of Dahihandi Utsav Samanvay Samiti (DUSS), said, “The opposing parties have been giving out many case studies where the Govindas were injured and hospitalised. To reduce the burden on Govindas in the case of emergency, and for them to get a benefit from the insurance cover, we have increased the insurance amount from this year. This will help them get financial help if needed.”Till last year, injured Govindas received Rs 25,000, and in cases of serious injuries or deaths, Rs 2.5 lakh was granted as financial aid. This year, Govindas who receive minor injuries will be getting Rs 50,000.”The insurance process has already started. From this year, the Govindas will receive Rs 10 lakh insurance cover. We are happy with the judgement passed and will ensure all the rules are followed,” said Sandip Dhawale, coach of Jogeshwari-based Jai Jawan Govinda Pathak.

Dahi Handi fest: 14 yrs age restriction, but no height limit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bombay High Court today accepted Maharashtra government’s statement that it would not allow children below the age of 14 years to participate in the ‘Dahi Handi’ festival. A division bench of Justices B R Gavai and M S Karnik, however, refused to impose restrictions on the height of human pyramid formations during the festival. “It is not for the high court to impose restrictions on the age of the participants and height of the pyramids as this falls exclusively in the domain of the state legislature,” Justice Gavai said. “We accept the statement made by the state government that it would ensure children below 14 years of age would not participate in the Dahi Handi festival,” the judge said. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the state government, told the court that as per the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, children below 14 years of age will not be allowed to participate in the festival since the government had in August last year declared ‘Dahi Handi’ as an adventure sport. The court was today hearing two petitions filed by city residents, raising concerns over the participation of minors in the festival and lack of safety measures, due to which several untoward incidents occur. In 2014, the high court had passed an order saying children below the age of 18 years cannot participate in the festival, and had also imposed a height restriction of 20 ft for the pyramids. The state government had then appealed in the Supreme Court, which on August 1 this year referred the matter back to the high court directing it to hear the petitions afresh.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Udta Dilli Cheap drugs snuff out young lives

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Farhan Abbasi, 17, shivers as he talks about how his life has been ruined. He has been injecting himself with smack for three years. He needs it twice a day. When he does not get his doses, he suffers from insomnia and excruciating pain in the stomach. On such days, he is even ready to commit crimes. “I do not care if the world burns to ashes, I need my nasha,” he says with an air of indifference.Abbasi is one of the 1,414 people, aged between 7 and 40 years, recently surveyed for drug abuse in northeast Delhi’s Seemapuri. As high as 80 per cent turned out to be drug addicts. Half of those surveyed were minors.The survey was conducted by an NGO, Society for Promotion of Youth and Masses (SPYM), after an order from the Juvenile Justice Board’s Principal Magistrate, Arul Verma. It confirmed that every household in the neighbourhood has at least one person addicted to some sort of a drug other than tobacco.Abbasi lives with his father and elder brother. During his bouts of drug craving, he ends up beating his father for money. He is aware that addiction is not good for health. He talks about the weight loss he has suffered in the last few months, and the household items he has stolen to buy smack.He wants to look good in the mirror, but all he sees is a lanky body; it makes him want to go back to his nasha. “I cannot arrange money for food, but I know how to get my supplies. Rag-picking gives good money… sometimes mobile or chain snatchings are the other options. Yahan to roj kaun khodna hai, roz paani peena hai,” he says.The trigger Seemapuri is not the only locality high on drugs. The city has emerged as one of India’s main transit points for illegal drug trade. In 2016, Delhi recorded the highest number of drug seizures in the country, data tabled in the Lok Sabha in March this year showed. Early this year, a government survey revealed that 70,000 children in Delhi were drug addicts. Officials say cocaine, the white powder that addicts snort, is another drug which is high in demand. After continuous cases of drug abuse among juveniles from Seemapuri, Verma had asked Delhi’s Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), Department of Women and Child Development, besides the Police Commissioner and NGO SPYM to look into the matter and submit their reports. SPYM submitted its survey, the Police Commissioner submitted a report laying stress on awareness and training programmes for its officers investigating drug abuse cases. DGHS talked about opening up of more de-addiction centres in government hospitals. But the underlying problem remains. Drug supplies continue as demands are rising.Lives ruinedPeer pressure and easy accessibility are some of the reasons leading to drug addiction at a young age. Hemant Kumar, 19, has been addicted to smack for over six years. He first got a shot at a “party” with some elder children from his neighbourhood. He was sent to to his hometown Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh to live with his grandparents in a bid to keep him away from the vice. The pains were too difficult for him to bear. He would often break household items. Soon, he ran away from there. “We also got an autorickshaw on lease for him to drive and earn, but everything he earned during the day would go into buying drugs at night. One day, he also sold the vehicle, leaving us in debt,” said his mother, Usha Rani.Brown sugar or smack is an adulterated form of heroin. Each dose costs Rs 300-350 and most addicts take at least two doses a day. They mostly travel to Old Delhi’s Mori Gate or Daryaganj to fetch it. An addict needs over Rs 800 for his daily need. Since most of these young people in Seemapuri come from poor backgrounds, petty crimes become their everyday routine to keep the supplies going. Kumar started with sniffing glue and eating Iodex. But soon, he needed more.Larger pictureNoted child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi filed a petition in the Supreme Court in 2014, seeking a direction to the central government to tackle the spiralling crisis of child drug abuse. In 2016, he asked for a complete national survey in six months and a comprehensive plan in another four months. In December, the court ordered the government to frame a national action plan in six months to control drug abuse among people under 21. The government is yet to file its report. “Increased substance abuse among children and drug trafficking are the largest organised crimes in India today. It is perpetuated through a lack of concerted police action against drug cartels and distributors and a lack of proper rehabilitation facilities and mental health support,” says Bhuwan Ribhu of Bachpan Bachao Andolan. “What we need for immediate remedial attention is setting up of more de-addiction centres”.Sporadic actionIn 2016, the city’s drugs control department raided 16 chemist shops, mostly in northwest Delhi’s Mahindra Park area, and canceled their licences for stocking drugs in huge quantities. In June and July this year, multiple raids happened in Seemapuri and adjoining Seelampur. More licences were cancelled. “Once we cancel a licence, we never reissue it to the same person or anyone on the same premises,” says drugs control officer Atul Nasa.At a recent conference conducted by AIIMS, Randeep Guleria, Medical Director, and Rakesh Chadda, Chief of Department of Psychiatry and National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC), talked about substance use disorder becoming a major health problem in India. Earlier this year, NDDTC started a specialised course in addiction psychiatry to help young drug-addicts.“The average mental health professional is bludgeoned today by new issues and challenges that necessitate refreshing and updating professional knowledge and skills,” says Chadda. “The latest updates in the increased use of e-cigarettes among youth and the new psychoactive substances, i.e. designer drugs, which are not controlled legally and yet possess significant addiction potential, are creating controversies too,” he adds.Women addictsWhile there are many drug rehabilitation centres and night shelters for men in the country, women drug addicts struggle to find a dedicated place. Women addicts do not visit common de-addiction centres due to the so-called stigma, safety issues and rules that say they must be accompanied by an attendant.At NDDTC, there is a special ward for women drug addicts, the only government one in Delhi-NCR. But admission is not allowed in the absence of a family member. Most addicts, either without families or abandoned by them, don’t get treatment. Biliya, 40, has been at SPYM’s women rehabilitation centre in Old Delhi’s Parda Bagh. It is the only non-government centre, which provides help to women addicts without any such conditions. But even that has only 20 beds and the number of addicts coming in is huge. A drug addict for two decades, Biliya came for rehab on her own 20 days ago. She and her homeless partner have been giving each other smack injections since they met on a Connaught Place street several years ago. Their daughter was born addicted to drugs.“I have been without drugs since I came here. I cannot come to terms with the kind of life I have lived. I have seen people around me die; all those who used to take injections with me are dead now. I remember, when I had cravings but no money… I would bang my head on walls… my then 5-year-old daughter would cross the street to beg to the peddler to give some smack for free to help me. The image of her bringing me my dose still haunts me,” says Biliya. She says she had a crazy life on the streets. “In the night, after getting high, men would fill syringes with my blood and splash it on the walls to make weird patterns. I had enough of it.”When her daughter turned seven, NGO workers counselled Biliya to send her to ‘Nirmal Chhaya’ under the Delhi government’s Department of Women and Child Development so that she could stay away from that life. Now eight years later, her daughter is helping others at the centre. When Biliya visited her a few months ago, still high on smack, the daughter refused to meet or acknowledge her. This made a huge impact on her and she decided to finally take a hold of her life and opted for treatment.
The AIIMS facilitiesNDDTC at AIIMS runs daily outpatient services, has a number of special clinics and three community outreach clinics in Sundar Nagari, Trilok Puri and Kotla Mubarakpur. During April 2016-March 2017, NDDTC attended to more than 9,000 new patients at the main centres and community clinics.The drugs Brown sugar or smack is an adulterated form of heroin. Each dose costs Rs 300-350 and most addicts take at least two doses a day. They mostly travel to Old Delhi’s Mori Gate or Daryaganj to fetch it. Drugs used by children include, alcohol, cannabis, inhalants, pharmaceutical opioids, heroin and prescription sedatives.Points to ponderTriggersEasy availability Peer pressureFamily influenceNo escape mechanism for personal problemsProcurement Pharmacy: Avil, injectionsScrap dealers sell silochan, local name of a drugSahasi community: women sellers hiding drugs in saree, dupattaBangladeshi migrants who are difficult to identifyPrices of drugsINhaler (maximum consumption): common names nimo, fruit, fruity. Easily available at Rs 50 in the form of glue, thinner, rubber adhesive, Iodex, tar pin oil, alcohol.Injections: actually made for animals, available at Rs 35Smack: Rs 400 a doseGanja: Rs 200 a doseAge and genderChildren as young as 7-8 years old have been observed taking drugs. While only boys are observed consuming drugs, girls are also addicted to substance abuse but stay less visible due to fear of stigma.

10-year-old girl to give birth will need long-term conselling: Experts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The 10-year-old rape survivor who will soon give birth now that the Supreme Court has dismissed a plea to allow her to terminate her 32-week pregnancy may need years of sustained counselling centred on respect, rehabilitation and resilience, experts say.The three R’s are necessary to help the child, raped by her uncle and just a few weeks away from full-term pregnancy, cope with the trauma of the assault as well as the childhood pregnancy, psychologists and childcare experts said.”She should get continued support in the form of good counselling. She needs to be rehabilitated and not abandoned in a dirty home. She needs to be in a place where she would be respected,” Mumbai-based psychologist Harish Shetty said.Too young to have attained the “developmental maturity” to deal with the issue, the child may suffer psychologically as well as physically, the experts state. City-based psychiatrist Samir Parikh advises psychological interventions not just for the child but for her family as well.”Such interventions could help in the healing process post the trauma associated with the experience, while also helping the child and the family members develop more adaptive coping mechanisms, and also work on building the child’s resilience post the pregnancy,” Parikh said.Such an experience is also likely to lead to interference in the child’s interpersonal relationships, personality, self-esteem and overall health, he added.According to Mumbai-based gynaecologist Sonal Kumta, giving birth and abortion in such early pregnancies are both “equally risky”.”It may lead the girl to be anaemic or the baby to be born prematurely,” she said. Shetty went on to say that counsellors must look out for sudden emotional outbursts and tend to her in an “understanding” manner.”One should understand her grief and help her resolve her issues slowly over a period of time. They should look out for emotions and excessive fears nightmares, sadness etc.” He added the process of rehabilitation should not stop.”She should be helped in building resilience and start a new life in a new city with a new identity,” he said.While diagnosing pregnancy in children as young as 10- year-olds is very difficult, Kumta advises “educating” girls from the start to make them aware. “We need to be aware that something like this can happen and not be in a denial mode,” Kumta said.Courts allow medical termination of a pregnancy up to 20 weeks under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act and can make an exception if the foetus is genetically abnormal.Kavita Krishnan, secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association, stressed there should be no delays in court decisions on such cases, for the health of the mother was of paramount importance.”A delay in hearings in such cases is unacceptable. There should be a day by day hearing as it will have consequences on the health of the mother,” she said.The PIL in this case was filed after a Chandigarh district court on July 18 refused to let the girl undergo the abortion as it was confirmed that she was 26 weeks pregnant.Considering the report of the medical board that terminating the pregnancy would neither be good for the girl nor the foetus, the apex court had expressed satisfaction over the medical care being provided to the survivor.An apex court bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud took note of the report of the medical board set up by PGI (Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research) Chandigarh to examine her and the consequences if the termination of pregnancy was allowed.The bench asked Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, who was present in the court room, to consider its suggestion to set up a permanent medical board in every state to take prompt decisions on prospects of early abortion in view of the fact that such cases were reaching the apex court in a big way.

2 minor Assamese girls, forced into sex trade, rescued; 1 held

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The police here have arrested a person and rescued two minor Assamese girls, who were pushed into prostitution after being lured to the national capital on the pretext of getting them jobs. The accused, Mujahid alias Surya, was arrested from near the IT Park at Shastri Park here on July 26, Madhur Verma, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime), said today. The two girls, who were abducted from Hojai in Assam in May, were found with the accused, he added. The girls, aged 12 and 13, were told by the accused that he would get them employed as maids in Delhi, said another police officer, adding that they were also told that they would be rich by the time they turned 30. After the girls were handed over to Mujahid, in exchange for money, by a man who had brought them from Assam, the accused forced them into prostitution, the police said. The accused used to charge anywhere between Rs 2,000 and Rs 5,000 to the “clients” of the girls, they added. The girls were produced before the Child Welfare Committee and were currently lodged in a girls’ home here, the police said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Director of kids’ rehab center held for "raping" minor girl

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The director of a private institute for rehabilitation of prisoners’ children has been arrested for allegedly raping a 12-year-old girl at the facility near here, police said today. Joseph Mathew (60), the director of Pambady-based Aswasa Bhavan, was arrested based on the girl’s statement to the District Child Welfare Committee, police said. The girl was counselled by the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), which came to know about the incident from her teachers. The girl had complained to her teachers about the alleged ordeal she underwent at the institute. Mathew had been on the run since the CWC reported the matter to police but was nabbed from a hill station near here, police said. He has been charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Police have sealed Aswasa Bhavan following the incident. The 12 remaining children in the institute are currently under the protection of the CWC. Aswasa Bhavan was set up three decades ago with an aim of providing maximum care and education to the children of prisoners.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Minor girl rescued from being married off to older man in Pak

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A minor girl has been rescued from being forcibly married to a 33-year-old man after allegedly being sold for Rs 1,30,000 in Pakistan’s Sindh province, police said today. A police team raided the marriage ceremony last night after being tipped off that an under-age girl was being sold to an older man, said Khalid Paracha, a senior police official in Umerkot district. Station House Officer Vijay Khatri said that the ceremony was being held in Bakhtawar colony in the district. “The groom’s mother, who is from a village in Thar, has claimed that the parents of the girl had sold her for Rs 1,30,000,” Khatri said. “We are not aware of any law that prohibits underage marriage,” she claimed. Police took the minor girl into custody and arrested the man while others present at the scene managed to flee. Khatri said a case under the Sindh Child Marriages Restraint Act 2013 has been registered against the parents of the girl, the man’s family and the Qazi, Maulvi Qurban Ali, who was performing the marriage. Khatri said that the girl will be produced in court and raids were being conducted to arrest the remaining accused. Child marriage is a punishable offense in Sindh under the act. According to the Act, a child marriage includes any marriage where one of the contracting parties is less than 18 years of age.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Family alleges child died after being denied treatment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A nine-month-old sick tribal child, carried 6 km on the shoulders by his parents to a health centre, died allegedly after being denied medical treatment in Baran district’s Shahbad area, the family alleged. Authorities, however, dismissed the allegations, saying the child was suffering from pneumonia and the parents were asked by a doctor to go to the emergency ward but they went home instead. According to grandmother, Kosabai, the child, Sunny Deol Sahariya, was suffering from cough and cold since Sunday. Yesterday, Sunny’s father, Rajesh, and mother, Sumantara, carried him on their shoulders to the community health centre 6 km away from their village Chorkhadi. They reached the CHC around noon when they were informed that the doctor on duty had left for home as his duty hours were over, she alleged. When they reached the doctor’s residence, he told them to either wait for treatment till 5 pm or take the child to the district hospital in Baran which is 80 km away, she alleged. They waited for sometime, hoping to arrange an ambulance to the district hospital but were unsuccessful. They eventually started for their village to arrange money to reach Baran hospital, she alleged. But soon after leaving the CHC, Sunny died in their arms. They had to carry his body back to the village on their shoulders as they could not find an ambulance, she alleged. Deputy Chief Medical and Health Officer Rajendra Meena was sent to the spot this morning to probe the incident by CMHO (Baran). Shahbad Block CMHO (Baran) Atalraj Mehta said the parents had reached the CHC after OPD timings. They were asked to go to the emergency ward of the hospital by Dr Ashok Meena so that Sunny could be referred to Baran district hospital, he said. “I visited the family members in Chorakhadi village and spoke to them about the whole incident. They admitted that they did not go into the hospital’s emergency ward after Ashok wrote the prescription,” he said. They also did not got to the hospital after the child’s death but returned to their village and performed the last rites, he said. A report of the incident would be sent to the district collector, Mehta said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC notice to govt on plea for minor rape survivor’s abortion

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today sought the response of the Centre on a plea seeking its nod for a 10-year-old rape survivor to terminate her 26-week-old pregnancy and ordered the child’s examination by a medical board consented to by one of her parents. A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud also directed that the member secretary of the Chandigarh Legal Services Authority be made a party to the case and asked the functionary to assist the court as an amicus curiae on July 28, the next date of hearing. “Before the matter is taken up for hearing on July 28, the member secretary, after having followed the procedure and obtained due permission of at least one of the parents of the child, shall have the child examined at the PGI, Chandigarh, by a board of doctors on July 26…,” it said. The court said this would done so as to affirm one way or the other, whether the health of the girl child concerned, who was stated to be of the age of 10 years, and also that of the foetus, would be adversely affected if the pregnancy was continued for the full term. “The member secretary shall carry the report of the board of doctors of the PGI, Chandigarh, to this court for its consideration, in a sealed cover,” the bench said. The court also asked the legal services functionary to “arrange for transportation of the girl child in question, as well as, at least one of her parents, at the time of medical examination… “Such facilities shall be extended by the member secretary for effectuating the presence of the girl child involved, as also at least one of her parents, in this court, during the course of hearing, hereinafter.” The PIL was filed after a Chandigarh district court on July 18 refused to let the girl undergo the abortion after it was confirmed that she was 26 weeks pregnant. Courts allow medical termination of pregnancy up to 20 weeks under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act and can make an exception if the foetus is genetically abnormal. The petition, filed by advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, has sought appropriate guidelines be framed by the top court to set up a permanent medical board in each district of the country for expedient termination of pregnancies in exceptional cases involving child rape survivors under the best-possible medical facilities. “Medical experts have categorically opined that if the 10-year-old rape survivor is forced to give birth through normal delivery or C-section, it may be fatal to the life of the girl as well her child,” the petition filed through advocate Kedar Nath Tripathy has said. The petition has also sought a direction to the Centre to amend Section 3 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, so as to permit termination of pregnancy of more than 20 weeks, particularly involving child rape survivors after obtaining requisite opinion from a permanently constituted medical board.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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