GUWAHATI, April 6 - NGOs working for the welfare of children and women today urged all political parties to mention assurances and plans to stop trafficking and sexual abuse, in their election manifestoes.
�From 1998, we have been working for the welfare of trafficked victims and destitute women. Till date we have provided shelter to thousands of such victims. But despite various schemes, acts, boards and commissions, the situation has not changed. Today, due to the active role of media, reporting of such cases has increased, but in reality the government still has a lot to do to change the situation,� said Kaberi Sarma of Global Organisation for Life Development (GOLD), a Guwahati-based NGO.
According to Sarma, manifestoes of all political parties have been flooded with assurances of various development schemes, but have very little space with assurances of welfare of children and women.
�The entire government machinery has failed in providing safety and security to children and women mainly due to improper coordination among its various agencies. Our elected representatives should work to eliminate the gaps among different government agencies. Only then will children and women get to live a life of dignity in the present-day society,� she added.
Sarma asserted that there is a need to allocate at least 10 per cent of the Union budget for child and woman development as the situation becomes worse day by day. Reporting of such cases is increasing, but the rate of pending cases is also showing a rising trend. According to information, 99 per cent of sexual abuse cases remain unregistered and among the registered cases around 89 per cent remain pending in various police stations, she said.
GOLD, in collaboration with Children Foundation of Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi, is going to start a campaign among all candidates of Lok Sabha election in Assam highlighting the issues concerning women and children.
As part of the campaign they will take the signature from every candidate in a pledge statement with the assurance to take steps to rid Assam and India of rape after getting elected as an MP.
�If elected as a member of Parliament, I will raise the following issues in the Parliament: Government should ensure a budgeted action plan to make India rape-free, 10 per cent resources in Union budget should be allotted towards making our country safe for women and children,� a sample of the pledge statement read.
�It is a nationwide campaign of our foundation. In Assam, we are going to implement it with the help of GOLD,� said Zubeen Mili, Assam in-charge of Children Foundation said.