August 1, 2019
Kalyan Banerjee speaks on The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019
I rise to support this Bill because in the entire country there is a cry: ‘Save my dignity, I am your daughter’; we are hearing this every day. Today these types of offences, shockingly, are increasing in the educational institutions. Whether it is a female child or even in the case of male children. Madam, the media is sensationalising incidents of sexual violence against children. They should be more responsible in their reporting. Sometimes they are disclosing the identities of the children and their families. If any media does this kind of violation, they also should get punishment. This is one of my suggestions to the Honourable Minister.
The maximum cases of sexual harassment start within the family. I am giving an illustration. Just a year back I was at my office, when a middle-aged woman came to my along with her daughter, who was nearly 13 years of age. She told me that she was a divorced woman, and had come to seek my advice on an issue related to the sexual exploitation of her daughter. She told me that she took tuitions to earn a livelihood, for which she would be busy the whole day. Her daughter stayed with her (woman’s) mother. Now, her mother was letting her friends sexually exploit her daughter (woman’s granddaughter) and taking money in lieu of that. I told her to write down the complaint. I called the police and when they came, I told them that I was not leaving my constituency till every accused in the case was arrested. This is an example of sexual exploitation within the family which I came to know about first-hand.
Madam, in police station too, juveniles get harassed by the authority; this is not an unknown occurrence. So there must be strict punishments for those police personnel too, who are indulging in such heinous crimes.
According to NCRB data, a total of 1 lakh 6 thousand 9 hundred and 58 cases of crimes against children were reported across the country in 2016. Around 1,000 fast-track special courts need to be set up across India as part of a new scheme to try cases related to raped children and women as per the Law Ministry’s estimation, which we have read in the newspapers. Children are now subjected to sexual offences in educational institutions, after the classes got over, under the guise of giving special coaching, and a number of teachers are involved in such crimes. I fully endorse the views of the Honourable Member who said that unless society as a whole understands the heinousness of such crimes, and unless more counselling and other types of mediation are carried out, such crimes cannot be stopped.
Madam, this is not only about female children, but very unfortunately, about male children too. You have made a provision for addressing cases of rape of women, but abuse of male children is also taking place.
I am grateful to you, Madam, for giving me the time to speak. I also give my thanks for bringing this Bill. In our country, there is no deficiency in having laws, but there is a big deficiency in implementing those laws. Agencies are failing in discharging their duties and hence the country is facing this problem. With this, I give my thanks and end my speech.