When India is in the glory of children’s day celebrations, Kerala reminds the nation of the Child Protection scheme which is yet to be implemented by it. Being one among the first ten signatories of the MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Union Ministry for Child and Women development, the state had agreed to implement the ICPS (Integrated Child Protection Scheme) in 2009-10. However, till date, ICPS is not properly implemented the ICPS. However, the other signatory states, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Assam, West Bengal and Karnataka, to the MoU are far ahead Kerala in implementing the ICPS.
The Union ministry had allocated about Rs 100 crore for setting up a state child protection society (SCPS) and district-level societies under the ICPS. However, Kerala has used only 22 lakh from this allocated amount. Moreover it has failed to set up the State Commission for the protection of Child Rights, which is expected to be the authority in handling disputes pertaining to child rights violations.
However, Kerala has managed to initiate few child friendly schemes in the state. It has implemented a child tracking system which helps upload details of missing children on a website and a Childline network which is functioning in 13 districts. The 14th Childline centre will be inaugurated in Alappuzha soon. Another major initiative from the part of the Kerala Government is the codification of the Kerala Children’s Act, the draft of which is already under review by the law department.
Report by Anupama