Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani today said that the “best test of a democracy is if we as citizens, we as a nation can deliver justice to all our children.”
Addressing a national workshop on Child Rights organized by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Irani said that the true identity of a democracy is how it protects its children.
The Minister said that it is necessary to develop consciousness of the society towards child rights so that they can come forward for protection and rehabilitation of children.
She said that the Ministry of Women and Child Development has taken several steps for the protection of child rights including amendment of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences, POCSO Act, and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act by Parliament.
“However, the society is ever-changing, administrative needs are dynamic and hence it is incumbent upon us that we evolve with time and be ready with solutions for the challenges,” she said.
The Minister said that there is a presumption amongst many that abuse is limited to families that are poor and that the abused children are restricted to poverty. In reality, abuse is as much evident in prosperous families, she said.
She urged the participants of the workshop that while they look at challenges that emanate from poverty, they should also look into abuse that happens in “prosperous” families, in powerful organizations and in childcare institutions. They should see “how can we, not as administrators, but as citizens, find solutions,” she said.
“On your shoulders rests the freedom of our future generation so that they may grow without fear, so that they may grow with confidence that if they seek justice, the justice will be delivered,” Irani said. The Minister stressed children need to be educated about what is abuse and how to report it.
As part of celebrations of the 75 years of independent India, the Ministry of Women & Child Development hosted various activities across the country under the theme of Children Ideas, Rights, and Nutrition including outreach activities in Child Care Institutions (CCIs) and Specialised Adoption Agencies and Adoption awareness programs.