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‘Tackling child abuse paramount’

M P Nirmala, who took charge as the Chairperson for the Tamil Nadu Commission for Protection of Child Rights on May 5, said that she and her team are committed to the stringent implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act and protect the rights of children.

‘Tackling child abuse paramount’
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Nirmala, who was a former Commissioner of Social Welfare, said that the common agenda was to protect the rights of children. 

“Our biggest challenge is to see that the Right to Education (RTE) Act is implemented strictly. In addition, we will focus towards tackling child abuse,” said the IAS officer. Nirmala was the Principal Secretary/CMD, Tamil Nadu Small Industries Corporation (TANSI) during her superannuation in 2015.

 The team members in the Commission have worked in the domain of child rights and were former members of Child Welfare Committee (CWC) or the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB). 

The Commission was left without a Chairperson, after the tenure of the then Chairperson Saraswathi Rangasamy ended in 2015. “There was no Chairperson until now,” said Andrew Sesuraj, State Convener, Tamil Nadu Child Rights Observatory (TNCRO). 

“Four of the members were a part of the CWC. This is important because this Commission must implement the RTE Act, especially to ensure that the schools have allotted 25 % of seats in the entry level class for the disadvantaged group. The Commission should also implement the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act (POCSO) Act. We have been seeing the cases registered under this act but the conviction rates are dismal,” he added.  

A Narayanan, Director, Change India, said, “So far, the Commission has been dysfunctional. However, I hope that the new Chairperson, who is a former bureaucrat, works for the interests of the children as per law.”

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