BANGALORE: Citizens can no longer hide behind the statement that they do not know the law and should, henceforth, report crimes, said DCP (South-east) Rohini Katoch.
Speaking at an interactive session on child protection organised by the Namma Bengaluru Foundation, she said, “Today, citizens cannot say that they do not know the law. When it comes to keeping society safe, citizens too have to take up individual responsibilities. When you know something has gone wrong, report it”.
Citing examples of initiatives in districts like Koppal where rampant cases of child marriage were checked using various measures, Katoch observed that often, simple steps that allow free flow of information are all that are required to check crimes. “We do not need big or expensive solutions. Sometimes, all we need is something as simple as a network of people who are immediately informed through a simple SMS about child labourers or crimes like sexual harassment,” she said.
Citizens’ participation and contribution are important when it comes to implementing guidelines for the protection of children. This is not happening, the officer observed.
Mohammad Mohsin, Commissioner for Public Instruction, said children, both boys and girls, need to be made aware of the good and bad touch. “A serious concern in schools is that often, teachers are hired on a temporary basis without proper background checks. Background checks have to be done,” he insisted.
The session saw the participation of various NGOs working with children, residents’ welfare associations and parents.