JAGATSINGHPUR: Doubts have been raised on the success of Paree Express, the specially-designed vans to campaign against sexual abuse of kids, after the district administration ignored key stakeholders working for protection of child rights at the launch of the programme in Jagatsinghpur on Monday.
Though the district police launched the programme with much fanfare in presence of ruling party leaders, experts who are dealing with safety of women and girls were not invited. The absence of officials of the district Child Welfare Committee (CWC), Juvenile Justice Board, Chief District Medical Officer and legal advisor of POCSO Act has cast doubts on the success of the initiative.
The district police launched Paree Express at a meeting which was attended by Deputy Chairman of State Planning Board Bishnu Das, Paradip MLA Damodar Rout , local MP Kulamani Samal, Balikuda legislator Prasant Muduli, Tirtol MLA Rajshree Mallick, Collector Yamini Sarangi and SP Prakash R. With all the stakeholders, who would have otherwise championed the police cause, missing, the meeting turned out to be a BJD event.
Local intellectuals opined that the launch of Paree Express in the district is a significant development since cases of child sexual abuse is on the rise in Jagatsinghpur. In the last three to four months, nearly eight cases of child abuse including rape and murder of a minor girl have been reported in the district.
Expressing displeasure over the delay by Erasama police in filing chargesheet in Gadharishpur minor rape and murder case, locals said such an attitude will undermine the novel initiative of the cops.
To make the campaign a success, the cops should intensify patrolling in rural areas for safety of village girls, upgrade defunct telephone numbers of police stations and engage more women cops in patrol duty, the intellectuals said.CWC Chairman Raghunath Jena said the major stakeholders on women and children rights did not attend the event as they had not been invited by the district administration. Child sexual abuse is an important issue and needs to be taken seriously, he added.