All children should receive formal education: NCPCR to states

This comes after the Uttar Pradesh authorities rescued many children who were being unlawfully transported across state borders.
School children.
School children.Photo | EPS

NEW DELHI: The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has directed all states to ensure that children in the age group of six to 14 years are enrolled in neighbourhood schools and receive formal education.

In a letter to state chief secretaries, NCPCR Chief Priyank Kanoongo, said the states should also ensure that in cases where it is found that money is being raised in name of children and children are illegally transported from one place to another, authorities should take action under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 and Section 370 of the Indian Penal Code.

His letter came after the Uttar Pradesh authorities rescued many children who were being unlawfully transported across state borders.

Citing an incident of April 26, the NCPCR chief said that 95 children were rescued while allegedly being illegally transported from Bihar to Uttar Pradesh. Investigations found that the children were attending an unregistered madrasa in the Saharanpur district in Uttar Pradesh.

He said the children informed the authorities that they were coerced into carrying brick, cleaning toilets, and endured physical and mental abuse.

“Instead of attending formal schools, these children were confined to the madrasa. It appears that in name of religious education, the children are deprived of their fundamental rights given under the Constitution of India and the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009,” he said in a letter, which was also marked to Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education, Chairmans of Airport Authority of India and Railway Board and to all state Director Generals of Police.

He asked the states to issue necessary directions to the District Collector/Magistrate to enhance vigilance in their respective districts to prevent the illegal transportation of children between locations.

Additionally, he said, the District Child Protection Unit (DCPU), Anti Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU), and Special Juvenile Police Units (SJPU) should be instructed to conduct routine inspections and monitoring to deter such occurrences.

He said the compliance of these recommendations should be sent to the Commission within 15 days of issue of the letter.

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