Against the backdrop of rising child rights violation, a district-level child Protection Committee under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) has been constituted in Ernakulam.
The first committee meeting of the body would be held on Monday to formulate an action plan. A government order to set up the protection committees was issued last year, the deadline for which is January 15.
However, the committees at the block and the panchayat levels are yet to be formed, and the deadlines for setting them up are January 17 and 20, resepectively, sources said.
With the setting up of the committees, the state can utilise Central funds for the welfare of children by initiating programmes and resolving various issues at the grassroots level. The Union ministry has made allocations to the tune of Rs 100 crore for setting up committees. But only when panchayat and block level committees are formed can the issues be resolved at the grassroots level.
District panchayat president Eldhose Kunnappally is the chairperson and District Collector P I Sheik Pareeth is the co-chairperson of the committee. District Social Justice Officer G Ramesh is the member secretary.
Other members of the 16-member committee include Padmaja Nair of the Child Welfare Committee, Bitty Joseph of the Juvenile Justice Board, the District Medical Officer, the District Education Officer, and the representatives of various social welfare institutions, among others. The state was among the first to sign the memorandum of association with the Centre to implement the ICPS. To benefit children at the grassroots-level, more committees have to be formed and administrative formalities cleared.
“The activities are going on as per the old scheme. Now we are strengthening the schemes through various committees at the district, block and panchayat levels. For setting up new committees, more administrative staff members are required. As soon as the administrative issues are resolved, they shall be set up,” said K M Abraham, principal secretary, Social Justice Department.