September 13, 2007

DNA dt.13th Sept

Renuka targets Modi on child trafficking
Vineeta Pandey Thursday, September 13, 2007 05:55 IST

NEW DELHI: Dealing a blow to Narendra Modi's "Shining Gujarat" image, minister for Women and Child Development (WCD) Renuka Choudhury has sought investigation on child trafficking and sexual abuse in the state.
In a letter to the Gujarat chief minister on Wednesday, Choudhury said a large number of young tribal children are being trafficked from Rajasthan to Bt Cotton firms in north Gujarat.

"The children, mostly girls, are reportedly forced to slog for more than ten hours a day in hostile conditions. It is also apprehended that a large number of them are subjected to sexual abuse," the minister said.

Gujarat will go for assembly polls in November-December this year and sources in National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) said they would not let the issue get diluted in the poll frenzy.
Sources said the commission will also raise the issue with the state government and is likely to make surprise visits to Gujarat to expose the truth.

A study conducted by Shakti Vahini, an NGO, in 2006 revealed 378 of the 593 districts in India are affected by human trafficking. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal and TN are the states from where the maximum numbers of people are trafficked to other states.
Intra state/inter district trafficking has been found to be high in Rajasthan, Assam, Meghalaya, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
A National Human Rights Commission report said about 44,000 children in India go missing every year. There are more than four lakh child prostitutes in India with addition of one-lakh children every year.

Meanwhile, the WCD ministry is developing Gender Budgeting Manuals to ensure committed funds for women related schemes in all sectors. The manuals will help in institutionalising the concept of gender budgeting at all levels of governance.

The WCD ministry is working hard to eliminate all forms of discrimination.

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