WCD Minister Maneka Gandhi had requested her Cabinet colleague to popularise POCSO e-box and Childline 1098 through NCERT publications
n Chandrani Banerjee
National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has published information regarding Childline (1098) – 24x7 Helpline for children and POCSO e-box on the back side of the front cover of all the course books from class 6 to class 12. To equip the children with information regarding possible modes of protection and complaints, the Ministry of Women and Child Development had requested Ministry of Human Resource Development and NCERT to publish this information.
In a telephonic discussion last year, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Sanjay Gandhi had requested Prakash Javadekar to popularize POCSO e-Box and Childline 1098 through NCERT publications, screening of educational films on child sexual abuse in the schools and having strict norms for employing the support staff.
The Minister of Women and Child Development expressed gratitude that the HRD Minister and NCERT is implementing her suggestion and stated that the parents, guardians and teachers should remain vigilant about children as well as their behaviour and any suspected situation should be reported immediately on the Childline No.1098 and the POCSO e-Box.
Speaking to Sulabh, Tania Ameer, In-charge of Media and Communication said, “The Minister was keen that everyone should be aware of the fact that these are the facilities available. And teacher students, everyone if in need could reach help for a child or fellow students by just dialling a simple number”.
Through these course books, the information is expected to reach approximately 26 crores school students in 15 lakh schools. NCERT was also advised that there may be a chapter in social science regarding the issues mentioned above. The narrative may continue till class 12 for having a reasonable impact on young minds. The information will not just reach these children but is about to stay with them on daily basis. As a result, it is expected that children will be more aware and they may use the Child Helpline or POCSO E-box, in case of any distress. The easy accessibility of this information in the hands of children themselves may also deter prospective abusers, at least to a reasonable extent.
The information in the form of these books will also be available to 10 lakh teachers through NCERT books along with family members and to caregivers of these children. The dissemination of such useful information directly is expected to create an environment of child safety and empowerment in the country.
“The Minister thought of the idea and wanted to actualize it as soon as possible. She went ahead and organised things in a short time to make it happen. The back covers will have information about child helpline and other important things that will make the child safe” added Ameer. The books will have information on CHILDLINE-1098. This is a national 24-hour toll-free emergency phone service for children in distress. The Helpline for Children is currently operational in 412 locations across the country. Childline received 1.45 crore calls during April 2016-March 2017 and more than 78 lakh calls during April -November 2017.The Childline provides assistance to children in distress either by way of tele-counselling or physical rescue.
Another important information that will be shared with students and teachers would be POCSO e-Box, an online complaint management system for easy and direct reporting of sexual offences against children and timely action against the offenders under POCSO Act 2012. POCSO e-Box was launched by Maneka Gandhi in New Delhi on August 26, 2016. Link of the POCSO e-Box is: http://www.ncpcr.gov.in/user_complaints.php
The ministry is also working on other aspects of day-to-day life of students to make them feel safe and secure. “This is one of the steps among other initiatives that the minister is planning. The Minister is of the view that every day if the children would look at the numbers and other important information, it would register in their mind and in the long run it would help. Imparting this information at the school level will help make generations aware” claimed Tania Ameer.
© 2016 Sulabh Swachh Bharat. All Right Reserved