Indian Railways to sensitize all staff and stakeholders on child safety — NFR
Dimapur, June 6 (EMN): The chairman of Railway Board has directed the general managers of all zonal railways to popularise a guidebook for ‘Creating a child friendly and protective environment for children in contact with railways’ in order to spread awareness across the entire railway system and to sensitize railway officials, passengers, and other stakeholders on the issue of child safety. A press release from the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) informed on Wednesday.
According to the press release, the guidebook has been prepared by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). It would be popularised by conducting sensitisation workshops for officials like station masters, travelling ticket examiner, Railway protection force, Government railway police, and other commercial and technical railway staff. Secondary stakeholders like porters and vendors at stations will also be sensitised, the release stated.
‘A large number of vulnerable children regularly come in contact with Indian Railways as passengers, abandoned, trafficked, or run-away children from their homes. Missing children travelling in trains and homeless children living and working in and around the railway platforms are also required protection,’ issued the press release.
To address such issues, a standard operating procedure (SOP) has been finalised by the Ministry of Railways in consultation with the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) and the NCPCR. This was done in accordance with the Juvenile Justice Care and Protection of Children Act 2000. The SOP is being implemented successfully at 88 stations throughout Indian Railways, the release stated.
In accordance with the provisions of the SOP, NF Railway is said to be providing space at nominated stations for setting up of a Child Help Desk (CHD) at free of cost. This is said to be operated by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) approved by the MWCD. Childline India Foundation (CIF) is the mother NGO currently managing Childline services and is responsible for identifying NGOs which will run the CHD at railway stations.
Child welfare committees for protection of children are also said to be functional at stations like Katihar, New Jalpaiguri, Guwahati, Mariani, and New Tinsukia stations. While, CIF is said active at stations like Dimapur, Katihar, New Jalpaiguri, New Coochbehar, Alipurduar, Kokrajhar, Jalpaiguri road, New Bongaigaon, Rangiya, Guwahati, Lanka, Silchar, Dharmanagar, Agartala, New Tinsukia, Jorhat town, and Dibrugarh town.