Chennai, Nov 30 (BPNS)
The Tamil Nadu school education department will soon be constituting Internal Complaints Committees(ICC) to prevent sexual abuse of school children. The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on the increasing sexual abuse of school children had come down heavily on the school administrations.
Social activist Veronica Mary had filed a Public Interest Litigation before the Madurai bench of the Madras High court to ensure that the mobile counselling centres in schools are functioning properly and that free counselling is provided to students of government and private schools.
The Madurai Bench of the Madras High court comprising Justices R. Mahadevan and J . Sathyanarayana Prasad in a recent order said that the answers received by the petitioner through the Right to Information Act (RTI) revealed that even as the mobile counselling centres were constituted in Tamil Nadu since the past ten years, there were no substantial changes.
A senior official of the Tamil Nadu School Education department while speaking to BPNS on Wednesday said that the government is working in coordination with the Tamil Nadu Commission for Protection of Child Rights (TNCPCR) and constituting Internal Complaints Committees (ICC) in schools. The schools will be framing anti-sexual harassment policies and a copy of this will be distributed among students and teachers. He said, “The state school education department was already in the process and in between the Madras High Court has directed us to constitute the ICC immediately and hence we have accelerated the process.”
State School education minister, Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhil while speaking to media on Tuesday said “A nodal body will be constituted in schools and will have representatives from TNCPCR and this body will spread government-led awareness and sensitization programmes on sexual awareness. The school education department has taken up several measures to prevent sexual abuse of children in schools and complaint boxes were set up in schools which were opened each week and appropriate measures were taken. The government will take stringent action against the perpetrators of crime.