Kolkata: In a significant move to counter the challenges posed by various social evils against children, the Bengal government has set up child protection committees (CPC) in more than 40,000 villages across the state.
One of the main objectives of the initiative taken by the Mamata Banerjee government is to ensure that there is a mechanism in place at the grassroot level, so that the children are protected from being abused.
We have so far been able to set up CPCs at 40,000 villages across the state and are in the process of starting 18,000 more CPCs in other villages as well. We have a plan to set up CPCs at all blocks and village levels to ensure that there is not a single incident of child abuse. These CPCs will monitor the villages to create a protective environment for children,” said Shashi Panja, minister of state for Women and Child Development and Social Welfare.
Every child is special and we need to ensure that a child’s voice is heard. Our department is committed to ensure that a child does not become a victim of abuse or atrocities under any circumstance. The primary job of the CPCs would be to evolve a mechanism for ensuring child protection,” she added.
It may be mentioned here that India is home to the largest child population in the world and more than 40 percent of Indian children are vulnerable. They are subject to abuse, exploitation, deprivation and neglect.
To fight all sorts of social evils, an Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) has been introduced in the state to create and spread awareness among people, so that children can be provided a safe environment.
The Child Welfare Committee (CWC) in the state plays a pivotal role in ensuring welfare and rehabilitation of children who are in need of care and protection, while the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) is supposed to bring the children into mainstream life after they indulge in any unlawful practice.
One of the serious menaces in the society is child trafficking. To check such incidents, the state government has also introduced a plan of action to combat human trafficking. The CPCs, with the help of child welfare police officers, conduct surveillance to prevent trafficking of children.