Tough questions from children stump CM

Tough questions from children stump CM

Children representing various districts in the State interacted with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday and raised several questions on issues affecting them.

The interaction session, which took place at the Vidhana Soudha, was organised as a part of a three-day 'State level Children’s Meet’ ahead of Children’s Day, by Karnataka Child Rights Observatory (KCRO).

About 30 children asked Siddaramaiah questions related to child issues such as the Right to Education (RTE) Act, play homes, child labour, drug de-addiction programme, counselling and child sexual abuse, among others. However, they did not get direct answers from the chief minister.

While Apurva from Gadag and Archita from Kolar highlighted the lack of medicines for HIV treatment in the State, Ameena Khan and Sandeep from Kalaburagi and Ballari, questioned him about the steps taken to tackle drug addiction among children.

Siddaramaiah said various de-addiction programmes had already been implemented in the State.

On sexual abuse faced by children, he said district-level courts would be set up on a fast-track basis to deal with crimes committed against children, and in particular girls, effectively.

“As per the enquiries conducted in the past, in about 80 per cent of the sexual abuse cases against girls, the offenders are relatives or acquaintances of the victim,” he said.

The chief minister said that Child Rights Grama Sabhas should be mandatorily held annually from next year wherein children from Gram Panchayats (GP) will hold a meeting regarding the issues they are facing. He said soon an order would be passed in this regard.

KCRO Campaign Coordinator Nagasimha G Rao said, “As per the circular issued by the government in 2006, Child Rights Grama Sabhas have to be held every year at the GP level. However, it was not made compulsory.

Presently, there are 5,000 GPs in Karnataka, of which Child Rights Grama Sabhas are conducted only at 300 GPs.”

Minister for Child and Women Development Umashree, Health Minister U T Khader, Social Welfare Minister H Anjaneya  and officials from various government departments were present during the three-hour interaction.

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