In online petition, MP urges Modi to act against child sexual abuse

In online petition, MP urges Modi to act against child sexual abuse

Rajya Sabha MP from Karnataka, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, has floated a petition on change.org, urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to act against child sexual abuse.

Just two weeks after the petition was floated, nearly 46,150 people have signed it and the number is still growing. Former cricketer Anil Kumble and actor Gul Panag have not only signed the petition but are also encouraging others to follow suit.

Titled ‘PM Modi, Please Act Against Child Sexual Abuse’, the petition seeks a road map for safety of children from sexual abuse, trafficking and similar acts.

It states, “Every day, eight children in India are subject to child sexual abuse. This August, my hometown Bengaluru saw another child rape. A three-year-old was sexually abused by a school employee who was supposed to be taking care of her. This is a risk all our children face all the time. When they go to school, to a hospital and surprisingly almost half the time, from within the family or community. India is home to the largest number of sexually abused children in the world... Let’s ask PM Modi to make the safety of our children a priority for his government and to commit to a roadmap to protect our children from sexual abuse.”

Chandrasekhar told Deccan Herald that during his interactions at various government levels, he realised there is a general tendency to brush this subject under the carpet and there is still a lot of ignorance on the seriousness and gravity of this matter.

“I raised this issue in Parliament as well. My idea to float the petition is to create awareness nationwide rather than it just being a one-MP issue, and there is power in collective voice. Sometimes raising the issue in Parliament alone is not enough. I am hoping the prime minister, who has launched campaigns like ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’, will also make it a matter of paramount importance. By mid-October, I will submit the petition along with the signatures to the prime minister so the matter can be taken up in the winter session.”

In his petition, the MP further requests Modi to undertake an exhaustive fact-finding study/audit on the full extent of child sexual abuse in India and present these findings to a multi-stakeholder group consisting of the police, judiciary, child rights activists, policymakers and others, to evolve an overall framework of laws for protecting the children.

The Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act should be amended, a framework for regulation of child care institutions such as schools, orphanages, tutorials and others be established urgently by involving and all the stakeholders concerned including child rights and citizens groups. 

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