CHENNAI: In an effort to bridge the gap between the public and child care officials, Chennai's District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) has initiated a plan to create a ward-level volunteer network. Officials say the aim is to detect cases of abuse early.
District Child Protection Officer AT Ramesh Karthik says the initiative is a result of a study conducted on child abuse cases over the last 12 months. The DCPU came to know about most of these cases only after a delay of several months. "It is difficult to receive information about abuses. Overtime, the neighbours might find something suspicious, but they would not know whom to complain to," says Ramesh Karthik.
The volunteers of the proposed network will be easy points of access for everyone living in the nearby areas. They will pass the information to the DCPU at once. The network will be known as Child Protection Groups.
According to Ramesh, the volunteers will be selected based on their popularity in their area after background checks. "Any citizen with a sense of social responsibility is welcome. We also invite people working in NGOs, students, former police or armed service personnel and women self-help groups," said Ramesh.
The volunteers will undergo a screening session, wherein basics about the Juvenile Justice Act, POCSO Act and the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act will be explained. Interested people can contact Ramesh Karthik at 9940631098.