Maneka promises to give ‘aadhar’ to life of street kids – DT Next

Participants of the World Street Child Games in Rio De Janeiro with Union Minister Maneka Gandhi at an event organised in Chennai on Tuesday

Plan to give govt funding to families for raising orphange inmates in their houses, says minister

CHENNAI: Union Cabinet Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi on Tuesday said the ministry will work towards providing birth certificate and Aadhar cards to all children, including those living on the streets, who have a right to their identity.

The City’s contingent for the World Street Child Games in Rio de Janeiro this year face difficulty in applying for a passport to represent the nation, due to a lack of proper documentation. When Maneka Gandhi heard of this, she immediately announced, “We will be working towards giving all children a birth certificate and an Aadhaar card so that proof of tehir existence is on record.”

In addition to this, Gandhi said the system of foster care, prevalent abroad, will be introduced for the first time in the country. “There are many children in orphanages over the adoptable age. We don’t want them to remain there. Therefore, we plan to pay a person or family every month who takes such children into their homes, but not legally adopt them. We are trying it for the first time. It is working in Rajasthan and we are trying to spread it to the rest of the country,” added Gandhi, who launched the Abhayam initiative by Latha Rajinikanth, an educationist and wife of superstar Rajinikanth.

Coming down heavily on the child care institutions, the minister said registration of all child care homes has been made mandatory for the first time, in order to weed out those that act as halfway homes for trafficking or abuse. Over 9,000 homes have been survyed and their performance will be assessed, she added.

Elaborating on the steps taken to protect children, she said the ministry has joined hands with the railways to display posters with helpline numbers on every bogey, enabling people to lodge a complaint when they see a child alone. The ministry has identified 20 stations which are fequented by traffickers and installed CCTV cameras. The minister also said any suspicious activity involving children can be reported through childline number 1098.

Gandhi, who was also in the city for a consultation on the Human Trafficking Bill said it was a first,”Until now, there has been no specific bill that takes into account all the different aspects of trafficking,” she said.

e-box for complaint

Maneka Gandhi added that the ministry will start ‘e-box’, an online complaints facility for children. “On August 26, we will be inaugurating the e-box where any child who has suffered from any kind of inappropriate touching or abuse, can lodge a complaint. It will be completely confidential and we will take action on each case.

DT Next front page article on 17.08.2016