The once highly appreciated pilot campaign of Police Headquarters against child begging has failed in sustaining the positive results. It is appreciable that the efforts of police department resulted in the enrollment of at least 68 children in Dehradun in different schools. However, a new batch of child beggars can now be seen near Kanak Chowk, Astley Hall, near Gandhi Park and Saharanpur Chowk.
With the present predicament of district police force being deployed for many other duties including the law and order maintenance of the district, observers question whether it would be better for another department with more suitable background to take over the campaign.
Member of State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR), Kamal Gupta said that the commission is planning to start a Child Relief Fund so that children from financially poor background can be helped. He further said that though the presence of police personnel is essential for the campaign, the commission might be taking up the campaign.
He also said that among 42 children who were identified in the category of hand to mouth financial status, some got admission after the intervention of district administration, but some of the students were left out.
They will be enrolled after the district probation department gets the budget for the new session.
According to the sources in police department, police force is already deployed for VIP duties, regulating traffic and keeping law and order in check. In addition to that, being the enforcement body they also have to do excise duty, mining duty, narcotics duty and many others.
Police forces are over stretched and over stressed which makes it difficult for them to follow up on every campaign.
If a department which is more involved with the children takes up the responsibility for working against child begging, then the results will be more fruitful.
It is pertinent to mention here that Operation Mukti was conducted as an experiment in the provisional State Capital, after which the campaign was continued in Haridwar and now in Haldwani. In Dehradun, district police and anti-trafficking units identified 292 street children, who were either found begging in the streets or were selling balloons or other things.
Three of the identified children were also found to be under the influence of substances.
The campaign was successful in enrolling 68 children in schools including one admitted in the Model School at National Institute for the Empowerment of Persons with Visual Disabilities (NIEPVD).
Thursday, 21 November 2019 | PNS | Dehradun
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