Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Feb 3: To make the premises of Kamakhya temple child-friendly as well as to stop practices such as begging and child labour in and around the temple premises, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has recommended creation of a suitable facility for housing such children and making arrangements for their proper education.

The apex child rights body in association with the Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (ASCPCR) has also suggested a slew of measures to be taken up by the district administration for giving the poor and underprivileged children a better childhood.

As part of the programme, it has been suggested to assign a Child Welfare Police Officer under Kamakhya Outpost, enrolling the street children in schools, and taking of action against those parents who force their children into begging.

It may be mentioned that the ASCPCR had received a complaint regarding a sensitive matter of violation of child rights at religious places.

“When ASCPCR visited the Kamakhya temple, the team found several young girls trying to create a nuisance begging for money to perform Kumari Puja, else, be prepared for a curse or bad luck. The ASCPCR had written to the district administration of Kamrup (Metro) earlier in this regard after finding out about the violations of child rights inside Kamakhya Devalaya, especially by those operating under the pretext of Kumari Puja,” ASCPCR sources said.

In a parallel development, the NCPCR with the objective to curb child abuse, begging by children, child labour etc., at religious places, has planned an awareness campaign for which it has mapped 50 religious places in the country.

To address the issues of child rights’ violation inside Kamakhya Devalaya, the NCPCR organised a virtual meeting in collaboration with ASCPCR on Tuesday with the objective to develop a strategic course of action in places of religious importance.

A decision was arrived upon to formulate a plan of action to be implemented by the Kamrup (Metro) district administration, keeping in consideration necessary provisions mentioned under the NCPCR standard operating procedure (SOP) which is called ‘Children in Street Situations 2.0.’