PIL in Delhi HC on protecting school kids from sexual abuse

A PIL has been filed in the Delhi High Court seeking directions to the Centre to lay down norms to prevent sexual abuse of school-going children in the national capital.

PTI| Last Updated: Sep 27, 2014, 18:41 PM IST

New Delhi: A PIL has been filed in the Delhi High Court seeking directions to the Centre to lay down norms to prevent sexual abuse of school-going children in the national capital.

"The safety of the school going children of the national capital is at stake and despite the fact that similar offences against them are committed on a regular basis, the silence of the government and the public authorities is questionable," the petition by a 29-year-old social activist said.

Highlighting the recent incidents of abuse of school-going kids by drivers of cabs and buses they travel in, petitioner Nandita Dhar said the Centre should lay down some directives to "prevent the sexual abuse" of these children.

She also gave suggestions including the need for "all school buses and school vans to be equipped with GPS system and CCTV cameras", to prevent abuse of children.

"A lady teacher or employee must be present with the school cab driver until and unless all the children get down. Private school cabs hired by the parents must be registered with the school as well as the police authorities and a lady assistant must accompany the said cab," the petition said.

It has also said that the vehicle drivers be restrained from any kind interaction with children during and after school hours.

"Drivers should not be allowed inside the school premises. All schools must depute a vigilance officer, who should be sitting in a transparent cabinet in the school premises and should observe the movements of all students, staff and visitors," the plea said.

"All schools must have an SMS-alert facility about the pick up and drop of students, and reveal information about the persons who come to pick the students... School must organise a weekly seminar or a programme to educate the kids regarding the sexual abuse/harassment," it said.

Citing reports of Ministry of Women and Child Development and National Crime Record Bureau, the plea said, "Data is only an indicative one, as majority of the school children often hesitate to tell such incidence to their parents or trustworthy".