NEW DELHI: The Centre and state governments should work in tandem to raise awareness of sexual offences committed against differently-abled children and the child protection laws, said activists.
While the Haryana government launched modules on the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) in Indian sign language, this model should be emulated across India.
In August, a 10-year-old girl who was her hearing-impaired was raped and murdered in Palwal. The legal machinery also needs immediate reforms to be able to pay attention to the rape of differently-abled minors, activists feel.
“The legal system in India is in dire need of awareness when it comes to resolving grave issues like sexually abused and raped children with disabilities. The overall response mechanism suffers from many setbacks. A strict, fast-track course of legal action against the perpetrators could curb such incidents in future. Awareness campaigns should be launched across India,” said activist Saudamini Pethe.
“This is because of the lack of access to information among the differently-abled community. Stricter laws and increased awareness about disabled people’s equality among the society is the need of the hour,” Alim Chandani, founder of Access Mantra Foundation added.
Recently, the Deaf and Dumb Welfare Association of Palwal submitted a letter demanding immediate relief to the family of the little girl as her immediate family members were also persons with disability in relation to the Palwal rape case.
The association has also demanded an investigation of the case in a time-bound manner to ensure that justice is not denied.
General secretary of National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD), Muralidharan said: “Women and girls with disabilities are oftens more vulnerable to sexual attacks and violence. However, society and the media, tend to pay very less attention when the violence is directed against them.”