EQUALITY INDIA NEWS / A SHAKTI VAHINI RESERCH INITIATIVE
Union Minister of Panchayati Raj Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh today informed the Rajya Sabha that the Union Government has directed the State Governments to ask the village panchayats to play key role to curb trafficking of minors and school dropouts.Replying to a written question the Minister said as a sequel to the Integrated Plan of Action to Prevent and Combat Human Trafficking with Special Focus on Children and Women formulated by the Ministry of Women & Child Development, this Ministry has recommended to the States and UTs for certain activities, including the followings, to be performed by the Panchayati Raj Institutions:
(i) Involve PRIs in playing an active role in prevention of trafficking. For this purpose, their capacities may be built-up through training programmes, exchange visits etc.
(ii) Create awareness and sensitization programme for PRIs on trafficking and their role in preventing the same.
(iii) Discuss the issue of trafficking in the three tiers of Panchayat and also in Gram Sabha.
(iv) Set up monitoring committee with members from Gram Sabha, Self Help Groups, youth groups and community members to monitor the enrollment and retention of children in schools, especially girls.
(v) Ensure that the Gram Sabha and Palli Sabha take up the matter with guardians of children who are not coming to school regularly.
(vi) Involve community vigilance group in rehabilitation or reintegration of trafficked victims and to ensure that they are not re-trafficked.
He further informed that his Ministry had also requested all concerned States / UTs to observe the period from 2.10.2009 to 2.10.2010 as the Year of Gram Sabha. As per reports received from the States of West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim and Orissa, their Gram Sabhas actively discussed the issues relating to all round welfare of women and children.
Besides, his Ministry has requested Ministry of Women & Child Development to include the provisions in the guidelines of their scheme “The Integrated Child Protection Scheme” for inclusion of Panchayati Raj Institution in the management. Where PRIs do not exist, bodies like Gram Sabha should be constituted for the purpose. The Management of Cradle Baby Reception Centre should also include representation of Panchayati Raj Institution at the appropriate level.