'Need to protect young people from drug abuse'

NGOs should put more efforts to protect child rights: DLSA secretary

It is high time we protect our young people from becoming victims of drug abuse and there are rumours that some foreign countries are targeting our youngsters, said Mysuru District Legal Services Authority Secretary Dinesh Hegde, here, on Friday.

After inaugurating a consultation meet on the draft of Karnataka State Child Protection Policy for Educational Institutions - 2015 (KSCPP), at JSS Law College, Hegde said 60 per cent of the total population of India was youth and this was a great asset for the nation.

Warning about the rumours that foreign nations are targeting youths to make a negative impact on their development, he said, drug addiction was an indirect war and it was rampant among youths in states like Punjab.

Pointing at the non-government organisations (NGOs) in Mysuru, working for children’s welfare, he said, NGOs should put more efforts to protect child rights. Even though the State and Central governments have provided certain benefits for the safety of children, they are not reaching the needy, he said.

The KSCPP draft prepared by the Women and Child Development department, along with an expert committee, will be submitted to the government for approval.

As per the draft, the policy will also be applicable to schools, all government departments, personnel, institutions, statutory bodies and NGOs, who are directly or indirectly in contact with children. It may be educational or other institutions for children, he said.

The aim of the policy is to ensure child safety, remove hurdles during investigation and single guidelines for all educational institutions across the State. The draft was prepared on the basis of Indian Constitution, World Organisation Child Rights Agreement, and other related acts.

Explaining about the draft, Divakar, a resource person said, the committee had also made a provision to punish the person who has information on any atrocity against children, but hides it intentionally.

Quoting a few incidents in Mysuru district, he said, many girl victims suffer discrimination due to drawbacks in the process of investigation of atrocities.

“A girl student who was sexually harassed refused to attend her classes after she underwent investigation. The authorities had conducted an investigation in front of a large public and thus her identity was public,” he said.

The meet had been convened to gather opinion from the stakeholders to make the policy more effective. The comprehensive policy will replace the several guidelines issued by Police and Education departments. The officials and education experts, organisations, teachers, citizens and students took part.

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