Three years on, State Commission for Protection of Child Rights in Telangana lies defunct

Friday’s incident, where street dogs injured a kid, brings to fore need of the body which looks into protection of child rights.

HYDERABAD: The State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR), back in 2015, had made local municipal bodies and panchayats responsible for ensuring that street dogs are neutered and should not be present in places frequented by children. They were directed to bear all the expenses for the treatment of the children attacked by stray dogs. However, the SCPCR in Telangana has been defunct since then.

On Thursday evening, a three-year-old boy from Kareemguda near Keesara was attacked by street dogs. The boy had stepped out of his house to play, when the strays attacked him leaving him with grievous injuries on his right eye, forehead and arm. While he is still in the intensive care unit, the incident came to light only on Friday.

Speaking to Express, the child’s mother shared that the incident occurred on Thursday evening. “We stay on the first floor and my son went out to play along with two other children, when some street dogs ran after them. The other children managed to escape, but my child couldn’t,” said the mother, who works as a teacher. She added that one dog got onto the child and scratched his face.

Meanwhile, with the body being defunct since 2015, there is no way that the departments concerned can be alerted about the occurrence of similar incidents, say activists. The Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005, mandates that every state should have a working SCPCR.

The Women and Child Welfare Department, which is responsible for the constitution of the Commission, had issued notification for application around two months ago. Several candidates sent their applications and interviews are awaited.

“We are waiting for the State government to conduct the interviews and the committee was set up for same two months ago,” informed Viziendra Boyi, director, WCWD. Prior to this, six members were appointed along with a chairperson. The HC later ordered it to be dissolved after a petition was filed by Achyuta Rao, stating that the chairperson, who is mandated to have at least 10 years of experience working with children, did not meet the criterion.

“The Commission’s duty is to protect and restore child rights. It also issues orders to departments to keep a check on seasonal diseases, making spaces safer for them to play and also remind departments of similar aspects. They also review and revise guidelines through experts,” said Rao, who was in the Commission till Feb 2015.

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