If the National Policy for Children 1974 is to be believed, it declared children a “supreme national asset.”
But, the last survey by the government on child abuse revealed that nearly 70 per cent children faced physical abuse and about 50 per cent were sexually abused.
Whenever any incident happens compromising the safety of a child, somewhere it hurts us emotionally. Earlier sexual abuse haunted the women only, now it’s the children too facing the brunt. Children are our future, and the little budding geniuses of tomorrow are being crippled and pushed back into a cocoon or their mere existence is robbed off. The innocent ones have to face such heinous crimes in broad daylight which we as adults would get scared to death.
The most recent instances include a 7 years old boy, from Ryan International School in Delhi, who got subjected to murder when resisted to being sexually abused by a school bus conductor. His throat got slit off and had to suffer a gruesome death at such an innocent age.
Another encounter came to light when a 5-year-old girl was allegedly raped in Tagore Public School by a security guard. The incident comes two days after the seven-year-old boy was gruesomely murdered for resisting sexual assault by a bus conductor.
We send our children to learn and become the future of the country, and this is how their safety, individuality and self-respect is being compromised and snatched away from them at such a tender age.
Meanwhile, such incidents sent shockwaves in the country, also demands for mentioned schools be shut have surfaced.
The school management of Ryan International School where seven-year-old Pradyumna Thakur was murdered on Friday was suspended its principal Neerja Batra. The police have nabbed the bus conductor who has confessed to his crime, but parents of the murdered child are demanding a school to be shut and its director Ryan Pinto to spend life behind bars.
“Ryan school must be shut and Director Ryan Pinto must spend life behind bars. The school should be taught a lesson so that no one dares to play with a child’s life again,” victim’s mother Jyoti Thakur said.
The parents and the locals also threatened to burn down the school, if it opened on Monday. “Unless there is action against the school authorities, we won’t allow the institute to function,” said Pramod, one of the protesting parents.
The massive outrage for the safety of the small kids is matter of huge concern for the school authorities and police, while parents are out protesting against the functioning of the school and threaten to burn down.
On further investigation it came to light, that the accused Ashok Kumar, 42, a school bus conductor has been sent into three-day police custody. “The previous records of the accused are being scanned. He has confessed to have killed the child. He was inside the washroom when the child entered. When the victim resisted his advances, Kumar slit his throat. He then washed his hands, cleaned the knife, threw it inside the washroom, and left. We have requested for a trial in a fast-track court,” informed by Gurugram police.
According to the victim, the incident that happened involved the security guard of the school. Police said the accused would also “pick and drop students” from their homes.
“The accused had been working at the school for three years. The incident came to light on Saturday evening, when the girl’s parents approached police. Her mother told police the girl had complained of pain in her genitals,” the police informed.
As per police, the alleged incident took place when the girl was going to the bathroom. “The accused, who was returning after delivering food to some teachers, stopped her, took her inside a classroom, and allegedly raped her,” the officer added.
Subsequently, Vikas, the accused, allegedly asked the girl to return to class and not tell anyone. “Her parents told police that she initially refused to speak to anyone when she returned home. Later, she broke down and told her parents what had happened,” an officer said.
The girl also brought out that she had been raped by a man “wearing a cap”.
The victim was taken to a hospital for medical examination, which confirmed she was sexually assaulted. Doctors at the hospital informed police that the girl is mentally distressed.
“Police went to the school and gathered details about the accused. On the basis of the girl’s complaint, a case was registered under IPC Section 376 and relevant sections of the POCSO Act. Police are trying to ascertain if any other student was targeted in the past,” the officer said.
Unfortunately, the fate of our children is in danger in this country. There have been several reports of child abuse in schools from all over the country. The sad part is that there is no specific law to deal with the crimes against children in schools.
It is so ironic that children form the future as well as the most vulnerable group in the society.
A survey conducted by humanitarian aid organisation World Vision India in May this year that revealed that one in every two children is a victim of sexual abuse. It was conducted across 26 states and covered 12-18 age-group.
It is also estimated that children below 12 are at a higher risk of getting sexually abused as they are more vulnerable.
In July 2015, A UNICEF report highlighted four major areas of concern about the safety of children in India.
First, it said that major abuse of children was reported between the age group of 5 to 11 years.
Secondly, more than 48 per cent girls wished they were boys so that they could escape abuse.
Thirdly, boys (over 54 per cent) are at an equal risk of abuse as girls.
Lastly, fourth, persons in trust and authority, including parents, are major child abusers.
After looking at such revelations, can we imagine a bright future for our children? The children, who are the sexual abuse survivors, will they be capable of leading a happy and a blissful life?
In conclusion, shouldn’t there be stricter laws that can be immediately put in action before or after an unfortunate incident happens again with another innocent child? Are the kids safe in this country, where their innocence, opportunities and dreams are already crippled much before it can bloom?
Food for thought, isn’t it!?