Bengaluru: The World Vision India, in partnership with the city police, has added a child-friendly space at the office of the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Kengeri Gate subdivision. The initiative is to provide counselling services to vulnerable children when brought to the police station.
Speaking at its inauguration on Monday, Ms Narmada Anand, Director of Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS), said, “The Pocso Act keeps the best interest of the child in mind. Child-friendly spaces, stipulated by the Pocso Act and implemented by the World Vision India, will allow the child to have a healthy conversation between different agencies of the state – the police, judiciary and child-protection machinery. These different wings can work together to secure justice for the sexually abused child and begin the process of rebuilding the child’s life and future, by causing as little distress as possible to the child.”
The child-friendly space is part of the World Vision India’s ‘Bangalore My City’ initiative that aims to strengthen the child protection system in the city. Since 2014, the World Vision India, in collaboration with the Karnataka State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR), has been conducting capacity-building programmes for city police on the Pocso Act. The police are being sensitised on the legal provisions pertaining to children.
Mathai Kutty John, Senior Manager, World Vision India said, “The Pocso Act stipulates special child-friendly spaces to reduce trauma for the child victim. Child protection is a key focus area for World Vision India. We have set up libraries at six police stations under the Pocso Act.”
Anucheth, IPS, DCP (West), said, “The mini-libraries now available in Kannada will help in better communication and understanding of the Pocso Act. Often, children do not speak out of fear. Though we as police officials have handled many criminal cases, we find it difficult to interview children, who are molested or abused. I hope the child-friendly space will help in bridging this gap.”
World Vision India has set up Child Protection Units in 33 slums in the city where children are taught child rights, life skills and personality development. Children in the age group of 6-18 manage 148 children’s clubs in these slums.