Mumbai parents feel children's school safest: survey

Mumbai parents feel children's school safest: survey

Despite extensive coverage in recent times regarding the vulnerability of children in schools and untoward incidents, over 80% of parents in Mumbai  feel that their child's school is the safest.

Parents of children ranging from ages 3 to 14 from both privileged and underprivileged economic backgrounds took part in the  door-to-door and over the telephone survey conducted by Child Rights & You (CRY). CRY volunteers spoke to parents from slums as well as high-rises in the areas of Cuffe Parade, Kurla, Kalina, Colaba, Sion, Wadala, Powai, Goregaon and Kandivali.

Kreeanne Rabadi, Regional Director-CRY West said: "The dip-stick survey threw up some interesting findings. For one, it is very encouraging that parents seem to be taking active measures to keep their children safe. However, the study findings indicate that there needs to be more awareness generated on the larger construct of child protection that it goes beyond physical safety."

Rabadi said Mumbai being a busy metropolis parents are forced to juggle their professional and personal lives to take care of their children, and they create a safety net by involving families, friends and neighbours. "But we also need the government to address the concerns of parents and play an active role in ensuring our children are protected and safe from harm of any kind," Rabadi said.

With the alarming rate of increase in crimes against children, child safety continues to be a pressing issue today. According to the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, crimes against children have increased by more than 500% in the last decade. The crime rate has increased exponentially from 1.4 in 2005 to 24 in 2016.

Another concerning trend is the proximity of the offender to the victim – NCRB 2015 data shows that in 95% of the Protection of Children from Social Offences Act (POCSO) cases, the offender was known to the victim (a family member/ relative/ neighbour etc).

Maharashtra accounts for about 15% of crimes against children in the country. The concentration of crimes has remained between 9-15% over the last decade. NCRB 2016 data report shows that Mumbai has recorded 3,400 crime cases against children. The city, which ranks 2nd highest in terms of number of cases registered, accounts for 18% of all crimes in metropolitan cities.

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