Four districts in Kerala – Alappuzha, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Kottayam – have set up a Child Rescue Force in an effort to curb child abuse, including child trafficking, child labour and beggary in the state. This initiative is in line with ‘Óperation Sharana Balyam’, a programme launched to prevent child labour during Sabarimala pilgrimage, reports Deccan Chronicle. The Child Rescue Force will work under District Child Protection Units (DCPU).
Even though the project has now been implemented in four districts, it was informed by the officials that the project will be extended to other districts in the next phase. The Child rescue force will work in association with child help desk and Child Welfare Committee of each district. These districts will have six officers each for the rescue, and rehabilitation of the children. They will work on a shift basis. The process of tracing the children will be carried out thrice in a week.
It was found that many students are employed in places like Laaha, Pampa, Kanamala, Nilakkal and Chengannur during Sabarimala pilgrimage season. 12 children were rescued from Sabarimala last year, reports Deccan Chronicle.
“We found that child beggary and child labour were in place during festive seasons like Ochira festival and Sabarimala season. We could rescue 13 children from Sabarimala and 32 children from Ochira last year. Most of them were from Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh. The rescued children are looked after by the Child Welfare Committee until when they are reunited with their parents. We are sure that we can combat child trafficking, beggary and child labour with this new drive. We will work on full swing to eradicate this social evil. KK Shylaja, minister of health and family welfare has promised to extend this initiative to other districts too”, said Zubair KK, District Child Protection Unit officer, Trivandrum to The Logical Indian.