Following the success of the Our Responsibility to Children (ORC) project in Kozhikode - started by the city police in 2010 to address deviant behaviour in children - it will be extended to all districts under the supervision of Kerala Social Security Mission (KSSM) by the end of next month, Social Welfare Minsiter M K Muneer said on Monday.
Resource persons at the district and state levels have been appointed and schools have been identified in major cities for the same.
“Children today are not getting the attention they deserve from their families and society,” the Minister said at a workshop held at the State Health Systems Resource Centre (SHSRC) here.
“Not only are there many children who are victims of sexual assault, broken families etc but there are also a large number of crimes being committed by them,” he said.
The ORC project is not just for “criminal children” but is meant as a universal support system for all children and make them assets of the future, stressed City Police Commissioner P Vijayan, under whose leadership the pilot project in Kozhikode was initiated in 2010.
‘’Under this scheme, everyone working with children will be involved from teachers and parents to the autorickshaw drivers and shopkeepers around the respective school,” said Vijayan, adding that a conducive environment for the wholesome development of children was everybody’s responsibility.
As part of ORC’s statewide extension, the Kerala Social Security Mission (KSSM) has been appointed the nodal agency of the scheme and it will be a joint project with Kerala Police, Social Justice Department, Education Department and local self-governments. There are four components to the scheme - sensitisation and training, prevention activities, social rehabilitation and monitoring and evaluation.
Ten schools in Kozhikode and five in Thrissur are already part of ORC, and starting this academic year an additional ten (five each in Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram) will also be part of it. Mentors have been identified and awareness programmes have started in Ernakulam, Thrissur and Thiruvananthapuram, stated T P Ashraf, Executive Director of the KSSM
‘’Apart from implementing bodies at the panchayat, municipal, district and state levels, there will also be a high-profile action group comprising top officials such as Additional Chief Secretary, Dept of Social Justice, Director-General of Police, General Education Secretary etc,” said Roshan Bijilee, Regional Director (North), KSSM.