GUWAHATI, June 13 - The Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (ASCPCR) has asked the Chairman and Managing Director of Oil India Limited (OIL) and the Deputy Commissioner of Tinsukia district to take immediate measures for addressing the special requirements of the children and pregnant women displaced in the Baghjan gas well blowout incident.
Stressing the fact that the pregnant women sheltered at relief camps after having to vacate their houses in haste, will need some special medical requirements, the Commission stated that adequate nutritional food and medical support is of paramount importance for both the pregnant women and small children living at the camps.
ASCPCR, the apex body for protection of child rights in the State, also noted that since the tragedy has struck amid the COVID-19 pandemic, proper hygiene and care is all the more important for the vulnerable segment in particular, and all the inmates in general.
ASCPCR Chairperson Sunita Changkakati told The Assam Tribune that the Commission had received some ground-level assessment reports suggesting lack of proper care and sanitation at several relief camps, which was disturbing to say the least.
Approximately 7,000 people, including hundreds of children and infants, are reportedly sheltered at 14 relief camps surrounding Baghjan and nearby areas. Relief camps have been set up at Baghjan, Guijan, Rupai, Diyamuli and Dhelakhat among other areas after the oil well caught fire on June 9, following gas leak since May 27.
�We have also received reports about lack of adequate potable water and toilet facilities. Apart from setting up adequate toilets separately for male and female inmates, sufficient sanitary napkins and adequate toiletries must be provided to the adolescent girls living at such camps,� Changkakati said.
The Commission, while calling for ensuring that all laws, policies and administrative mechanisms are in consonance with the child rights perspective as per the Indian Constitution and also the UN Convention on the Rights of Children (UNCRC), has asked both OIL and the district administration to treat the matter as topmost priority.
�We have also informed the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights about the issue,� Changkakati further mentioned.