New Delhi: Initiatives such as 'Smart City' project cannot be successful unless children are provided with a safe and secure environment, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said on Friday as he described the statistics on sexual abuse of children in the country as discouraging.
The minister further said that the statistics pose serious questions before the policy makers.
"It is saddening to see the figures of sexual abuse of children in India are not very encouraging... I believe that for a society or a country, the level of progress is determined by how safe the children are.
"Though many child protection legislations have been brought by various governments, incidents of child abuse pose serious questions before policy makers," Rijiju said while releasing a report on urban children in India.
"The critical area of safety of children cannot be overlooked. Initiatives such as smart city cannot be successful otherwise... No city can be a smart city if children are not safe in it," he added.
'Forgotten Voices: the world of urban children in India', a report compiled by PwC India and Save the Children, aims at providing a reality check on the situation of urban children as varying patterns of migration to cities across India make them increasingly vulnerable to a variety of risks.
Noting that the figures of crime against children in two major cities -- Delhi and Mumbai -- are disappointing, Rijiju said, "Crime against children is something which really strikes the mind. It really effects the way we think about security of our society."
"We must have a mechanism to deal with that and have a proper data... As it is the figures we have are not encouraging, but we need to analyse much deeper to ensure that our security apparatus functions to ensure that no child is subjected to any kind of abuse," he added.