Topic– Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
1) The recent incidents of rampant physical and sexual abuse of minors and women in childcare institutions (CCIs) and shelter homes in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh reveal how the state as well as the civil society have failed in their role as protectors and watchdogs. Comment. (250 words)
Why this question
The recent news about physical and sexual abuse of the children in CCIs has taken everybody by surprise and shock. These institutions meant to protect such children instead of providing care and protection have become the dens of criminal activity and exploitation. It is important to know why these institutions along with other similar provisions for child protection have failed to deliver the results.
Comment- here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.
Key demand of the question.
The question wants us to express our knowledge and understanding as to why the state as well as the society has failed to play their role of protector and watchdogs of the children especially those which are living in various CCIs across the country. We have to substantiate our opinion with proper and valid arguments.
Structure of the answer
Introduction- write a few lines about the protection guaranteed to the children under the constitution and the law- e.g Article 21, Right to Education and National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), POCSO act etc. Mention the recent controversy regarding CCIs.
- Discuss the lapses in the regulation and functioning of CCIs which led to the unrestrained physical and sexual abuse of the children in these CCIs. e.g -All CCIs are required to be registered under the JJ Act and every district needs to have a child protection officer, a child welfare committee, and a juvenile justice board. However, in practice, their functioning has not been effective enough to prevent the widespread misuse of power and money by those running these institutions. An NCPCR survey has shown that only 32% of CCIs were registered under the JJ Act, while 33% were not registered with any authority. The Ministry of Women and Child Development, which provides funding to CCIs under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme, is duty-bound to carry out social audits in order to deter malpractices. However, either these institutions are allowed to function without any routine inspections, or inspections by multiple state agencies over the years find nothing amiss despite widespread abuse being present. While taking punitive action is necessary, often the government’s actions stop at just that, with any effort at alleviating the situation of these children and women and keeping checks on the functioning of shelter homes falling by the wayside once the furore over the issue dies down. etc.
- Discuss how the society has failed to protect those children. E.g by giving up their responsibility towards the underprivileged children, not creating enough public pressure to force the institutions and the state to ameliorate the situation of such children, a patriarchal mindset of the society which leads to not taking such children into confidence while formulating laws and devising mechanisms for their protection etc.
Conclusion– Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.