Married off at 11, Maharashtran girl wins battle for education #Vaw #childmarriage


By , TNN | Dec 1, 2012,

Married off at 11, Maharashtra girl wins battle for education
An 11-year-old girl from a small village in Aurangabad district walked into the Mukundwadi police station a couple of days ago to demand her right to education.

AURANGABAD: An 11-year-old girl from a small village in Aurangabad district walked into the Mukundwadi police station a couple of days ago to demand her right to education. Married off six months back to a 17-year-old boy suffering from mental illness, she mustered enough courage to approach the police and register a complaint against the boy and his parents for not allowing her to go to school.

The girl’s story was a familiar one—of abject poverty and the skewed nature of society. Apart from this, however, child welfare activists in Aurangabad say it wasn’t common to see a girl so young being married off. Last year, they had come across a case of a 14-year-old girl who was forced to marry by her parents. The Mukundwadi police referred the case of the fifth standard girl to the Cidco MIDC police as her village falls under their jurisdiction.

The police here handed her over to the city-based Child Welfare Committee (CWC), which immediately got her admitted to a school, where she has started attending classes Thursday onwards.

The CWC on Wednesday asked the police to register an offence against the parents of both the girl and the boy within three days. The girls’ parents and in-laws are reported to have fled their homes.

MIDC Cidco police inspector Ganpat Darade told TOI on Friday that they have recorded the girl’s statement. “She did not face any atrocity from her parents or the boy’s parents, though her father, who works as a labourer, is an alcoholic. It was only her desire to continue education that forced her to leave the boy’s home,” he said.

Darade said action would be taken against the parents of both the boy and the girl for violating the Prevention of Child Marriage Act. Social organizations and activists too expressed their concern over people mainly from the poor strata of society marrying off their minor children. CWC member Renuka Ghule said the girl was petrified when she came to the police station. “The police offered her food and water as she looked disoriented and tired. Later, when they took her into confidence, she narrated her story.

 

For Immeditae Release- Juveniles attempt to commit suicide in Karnataka


Date: 05 April 2012

PRESS RELEASE

Karnataka: Juveniles attempt to commit suicide – administration of juvenile justice remains deplorable

NEW DELHI: The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) in its report, “The State of Juvenile Justice in Karnataka”
(http://www.achrweb.org/reports/india/JJ-Karnataka-2012.pdf), released today stated that the administration of juvenile justice remains deplorable and children incarcerated in congested and appalling living conditions have been attempting suicide. On 31 January 2012, three juveniles lodged in the Government Remand Home for Boys and Girls at
Madivala attempted suicide inside the Home by consuming pesticide and needed hospitalisation.

Though Karnataka has established Juvenile Justice Boards (JJB) in 28 out of 30 districts, the cases pending before the JJBs are not regularly heard in clear violation of Section 14(2) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000. As of 10 February 2012, there were about 2,500 cases pending under the Juvenile Justice Act in Karnataka and 1,567 cases were pending as of December 2011 in Bangalore Urban district alone.

Instead of increasing vigilance over the Observation Homes, Special Homes and Children’s Homes, which have become centres of abuse, the State government of Karnataka in October 2010 put the most regressive condition that “members of the Child Welfare Committees cannot visit child care institutions, when they are not holding a sitting, without prior permission of the heads of these institutions”.

In a number of juvenile justice homes, no inspection has taken place during 2009-2011 according to information obtained under the Right to Information Act, 2005. No inspection took place in the Balakara Bal Mandir, Gulbarga; Children Home for Boys, Chikmagalur; Government Observation Home (Boys), Gulbarga; Government Observation Home, Dharward;
Government Juvenile Home for Boys at Bagalkot; Government Juvenile Home for Girls at Bagalkot; and Balamandir for Boys, Belgaum during 2009 to 2011.

As admitted by Karnataka State government, as of December 2011 no educator was appointed in as many as 19 government runs homes out of 81 homes and the juveniles in these homes are being deprived of the right to education which is recognized as a fundamental right.

In five juvenile homes, no cook has been appointed despite being sanctioned. At Balakiyara Balamandira, Mandya, no cook has been appointed since 12 December 1996.

A large majority of the Juvenile Homes were found to be under-staffed which has negative impact on care and protection of the inmates. At the Children’s Home for Boys, Koppal, out of eight sanctioned staff only two have been appointed.

In clear violations of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (“The Beijing Rules”) and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Karnataka Rules, 2010 which provides for segregation of the inmates on the basis of their gender, degree of offence and age (preferably up to 12 years, 12-16 years and 16 years and above) have not been complied with. The non- separation of the inmates on the basis of their age undermines the danger to juveniles of
“criminal contamination”. At Children Home for Boys, Chikmagalur, boy and girls are being kept in the same home and no inspection took place in the Home during 2009-2011!

Asian Centre for Human Rights lamented that the role of the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Karnataka State Human Rights Commission (KSCPCR) and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has been limited to ordering the release of those illegally detained or recommending departmental action against the guilty. As
recently as 20 December 2011, KSCPCR rescued a 16-year-old boy who was illegally detained without any diary entry, handcuffed, beaten, chained and inadequately fed during his detention at the Sampigehalli police station in Bangalore following his arrest on 17 December 2011.

“Though the boy was rescued, no complaint was lodged against the accused police personnel as per Section 23 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act which provides that “Whoever, having  actual charge of, or control over, a juvenile or the child, assaults,abandons, exposes or willfully neglects the juvenile or causes or procures him to be assaulted, abandoned, exposed or neglected in a manner likely to cause such juvenile or the child unnecessary mental or physical suffering shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or fine, or with both”.

“Even a member of the Child Welfare Committee was found to abuse children.The Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights failed to respond to queries from the Asian Centre for Human for Human Rights as to the further action taken following the order of the State Government ofSeptember 2010 restraining Balakrishna Masali, a member of the Child
Welfare Committee-II of the Bangalore Urban district, from attending sittings of the Child Welfare Committee, after he was reportedly found guilty by the KSCPCR of molesting girls who were brought before him for inquiry.” – stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.

Asian Centre for Human Rights urged the State Government of Karnataka to implement the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 in letter and spirit and further recommended to the National Commission
for Protection of Child Rights to ensure the implementation of the recommendations made by ACHR.[Ends]

For any further information or clarifications, please contact Mr Suhas Chakma at 9810893440

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