In June 2017, Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MSCPCR) and women and child development minister Pankaja Munde launched an app to rescue homeless street children. We contacted them to get an update on how the app was performing.
The Maharashtra state government has adopted a standard operating procedure (SOP) on how to help street children, and launched a mobile app for faster reporting of child right violations.
Street children comprise of beggars, rag pickers, vendors, shoe-shine boys, and, those wiping automobile windscreens or performing on the road, among others.
According to the SOP prepared by Save the Children, NGO, if you encounter a street child, then usually the first step is to inform Child Line helpline-1098. It will help in their rescue and rehabilitation. “We will circulate this among the public, child welfare officers, and, others dealing with children,” said AN Tripathi, secretary, MSCPCR.
The contact person will differ based on the location of the child, it states. If you spot street children at the railway station, then contact the GRP (Railway Police) or the station manager. Local police stations must be reached if the children are found outside malls, signals, or under flyovers. In case of places of worship, you must report it to the management.
Complaining to the commission about other child rights violations such as sex abuse, corporal punishment, or harassment, will also become easier with the mobile app. “We will provide the required funds to appoint qualified staff to monitor the app who can take prompt action on the complaint,” said Munde.