BHUBANESWAR: At a time when concerns are being raised over safety and security of children in the State, the Sundargarh Police has begun an initiative - Ama Khusi Ama Suraksha - to develop child-friendly police stations in the district.
The first child-friendly police station in the State was inaugurated at Rajgangpur recently by Western Range IG Kavita Jalan.
The initiative is aimed at making every police station in the district child-friendly in a phased manner as per the guidelines of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).
The project will be launched in five more police stations at Bhasma, Bargaon, Kutra, Town and Biramitrapur.
Sundargarh SP Sagarika Nath said the objective is to make police stations and the personnel more approachable towards the children so that they are able to report about various offences without hesitancy and give their statements without fear.
It also aims at providing proper psychological care and counselling to children in distress, especially those who have faced sexual abuse.
‘Ama Khusi Ama Suraksha’ is a platform to interact with the children and make them understand about the functioning of police stations and its daily activities which will in turn help them in realising that police officers are their friends, said Nath.
The project will be implemented in three stages - infrastructure development, capacity building and community participation.
Under infrastructure development, a separate room will be set up on the premises of the police stations having child-friendly decor, books and toys to provide a safe and calm atmosphere to the children.
The room has been named as ‘Ananda Ghara’ and one child welfare officer will be in-charge of this facility in each police station.
Two female personnel of each police station will be provided training by legal and psychology experts to help them deal with victims of physical, sexual and mental abuse and to act as a link between their families and the legal system.
The training module will consist of detailed information on the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, POCSO Act, Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act, Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, NCPCR guidelines along with child and victims psychology.
At a later stage, children from different schools will be invited to the police stations to spend a day at the facilities and understand their functioning.
The initiative, named as ‘One Day at Your Police Station’, holds significance as police stations are often the first facility a child comes in contact with while reporting or being suspected of any crime.
An ‘Ananda Ghara’ will be set up on the premises of the police stations having child-friendly decor, books and toys.
School children will be invited to the police stations to spend a day at the facilities and understand their functioning.