Rashi Aditi Ghosh/ Zee Research Group
After women being declared unsafe by the National Commission for Women (NCW) in Uttar Pradesh (UP), it is now the turn of children to seek cover in the state led by a woman chief minister. The countrywide scenario is also negative with the crime rate against children growing by about three per cent during the last one year.
Official statistics made available by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) show that UP has the highest number of complaints registered for crime against children. Delhi and Madhya Pradesh are the two other states that have received highest number of complaints respectively for crime against children at the Commission. UP and Delhi have shown up as among worst offenders for second year in a row.
Both NCW and NCPCR are part of the central women and child development ministry.
The NCPCR report offering statistics updated until March end this year said UP recorded 204 complaints of crime against children while Delhi recorded 115 complaints and Madhya Pradesh 81 such complaints. NCPCR offers a data for complaints registered with it and not complaints registered with the police.
Lov Verma, member secretary, NCPCR said, “Crime against children is increasing rapidly mainly because of insensitivity of masses as also due to lack of a separate law against sexual abuses of children.” He argued that the Commission was trying its best to get the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Bill, 2011 to come into force to serve as a deterrent against such crimes against innocent children.
Lamenting the rise in crime against children, Kiran Jyoti, executive director, Salaam Balaak Trust, a child focus NGO said, “Safe society is something that every child deserves. Clarity under the laws concerning children regarding uniform age for judgments is immediate requirement of the time”.
Although Delhi registered a decline of 8.69 per cent in 2010- 2011 (it had registered 125 complaints in 2009-2010), UP complaints increased by 33 per cent during the last year. It had registered 178 complaints at NCPCR in 2009-10.
NCPCR is working to a plan to keep crime rate in states like UP in check. “States having highest number of crimes against children would be brought under active study in order to evaluate the growing crime rate and measures to combat it,” Verma at NCPCR revealed.
Orissa (56 complaints), which was amongst the top three states with the maximum number complaints of crime against children in 2009-2010, improved its track record with only 32 complaints registered during 2010-2011.
NCPCR data showed that in the year 2009-2010 in all 758 complaints were registered which increased to 786 (3 per cent) in 2010 2011.
Rishikant, child rights activist, Shakti Vahini a women and child centric NGO said, “Sensitization regarding child rights should start at the ground level and it should reach each and every section of the society irrespective of any differences and discrimination’’.
National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), which keeps a record of criminal cases for the whole country, revealed in its data for the year 2009 that Madhya Pradesh (4646), UP (3085), Maharashtra (2894) and Delhi (2839), were among the states with maximum number of cases of crime against children.
NCRB data for the year 2009 on city wise crime rate marked Delhi with highest number of offences against children (2405) followed by Mumbai (369) and Indore (337).
“We do have child welfare committees in the capital but the concerning authority lacks sensitivity. It is necessary for government to appoint persons having broad and empathetic view towards children,” said Jyoti from Salaam Balaak Trust.