In a welcoming move, Odisha's Sundergarh Police have started an initiative 'Ama Khusi Ama Suraksha', aimed at making every police station in the district child-friendly in a phased manner as per the guidelines by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
This move comes at the time when concerns over the safety and security of children are being raised in the state of Odisha.
Recently, one such child-friendly police station was inaugurated at Rajgangpur by the Western Range Inspector General Kavita Jalan.
The project will be launched in five police stations at Bhasma, Bargaon, Kutra, Town and Biramitrapur.
Sundergarh Superintendent of police, Sagarika Nath, said that the objective was to make police personnel become more approachable to children so that they were able to report various offences without hesitancy and give their statements without fear.
The initiative will also provide psychological care and counselling to children in distress, especially those who have been sexually abused, reported The New Indian Express.
'Ama Khusi Ama Suraksha' is a platform to interact with children and create awareness among them about how the police stations function, its daily activities and so on. This may help them realise police officers are their friends, added Nath.
The project will be implemented in three stages - infrastructure development, capacity building and community participation.
Under infrastructure development, a separate room will be created on the police station premises having child-friendly decor, books and toys to provide a safe and calm atmosphere to the children. This room is named as 'Ananda Ghara' and one child-welfare officer will be in charge of this facility.
Two female personnel of each police station will be given training by legal and psychology experts to help them deal with victims of physical, sexual and mental abuse and to act as a link between their families and the legal system.
The training module will consist of detailed information on the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, POCSO Act, Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act, Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, NCPCR guidelines along with child and victims psychology.
The children from various schools will also be invited to the police station in a later stage, to spend a day at the facilities and understand the functioning.
The initiative, named as 'One Day at Your Police Station', holds significance as police stations are often the first facility a child comes in contact with while reporting or being suspected of any crime.
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