Assam plans 24×7 child helpline centre

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It will register and act on complaints of corporal punishment in a fast and effective manner

By Amritanshu

Guwahati: Assam is all set to open a 24-hours child helpline to register and act on complaints of corporal punishment in a fast and effective manner.
The child helpline would be accessible by SMS, telephone and letter and all complaints would be monitored through a transparent “alert and action” online mechanism by the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
The rules formulated by the Assam government recently to implement the Right to Education Act has stipulated that the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights would work out an online mechanism through which it can work on complaints of corporal punishment.

Once a person or parent complains about corporation punishment, the child helpline would record the identity of the aggrieved parties but would not disclose their identity. The helpline will be functional round- the-clock.
Apart from complaints of corporal punishment, the online system will entertain cases of child rights violation.

According to the official, after a complaint is lodged, the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights shall frame charges in consultation with the education department or school management committees against a guilty teacher on the basis of the allegations made by students.

The authorities, however, will conduct an inquiry to verify the allegation before framing charges.

If a teacher is found guilty of corporal punishment, he or she will have to face various punitive actions.

A Unicef study conducted in 2009 revealed that 99.56 per cent of students in Assam schools were victims of corporal punishment.

A government official said the child was being set up as part of government’s step for effective implementation of The Right to Education Act in the state.

The RTE has given tremendous emphasis on protection of child rights and strictly recommended no corporal punishment in any form or under any circumstances.

“Since the act upholds education as the fundamental right for each child between six to 14 years, it has been observed that corporal punishment would cause a fear psychosis among children and drive them away from schools,” the official said.



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