The Assembly Committee on Women empowerment will write to the State Government on the need to put all hostels for children across the state under strict surveillance.
Talking to reporters, Chairperson of the Committee Ampareen Lyngdoh, after chairing a meeting with the officials of the social welfare department said, “We are going to write to the Government of Meghalaya to highlight the necessity of ensuring that all hostels who are housing children under the age of 18 should be strictly put under surveillance.”
Following the Rimpu Bagan case wherein West Garo Hills police had busted a prostitution racket in the private farm house run by the BJP MDC which led to the arrest of 73 persons and rescue of 5 children besides seizure of liquors and unused contraceptives.
Talking about the safety of the children Lyngdoh stressed on constant monitoring to ensure children do not find themselves in conflicting situations.
“There should be facility for spot inspection, facility for registration, facility for polling stations around them to be also roped in so that we do not wait for this kind of a big occurrence of a violation of rights,”the Chairperson said.
Asking the Government to be more vigilant, she said, “ I think the Government of Meghalaya now has to engage, has to come up with a norm and has to start being vigilant on this kind of a facility as we have seen everything went wrong and this should not have been the case.”
“We will learn from our experiences and we should ensure we provide safe havens for young children who go and stay in these hostels and facilities with the hope of being protected and not with a hope of being violated,” Lyngdoh said.
The chairperson also informed that the department will now take over and ensure these children are given opportunities to live in children homes. She said one of the children is also now a child in conflict with law.
“We have to ensure that these children are given there wherewithal to ensure that they are able to fight these situations that they find themselves in. I have also been assured that all the six victims…will also continue to live life to the maximum despite the fact that the situations (which) have been harrowing experiences for all of them,” she said.
Lyngdoh said the committee wants to ensure that the rights of these children are protected and that they are given adequate opportunity to go back to their normal life and go back to school.
Meanwhile, the committee also sought a report on the status of children of women who were killed recently.
On the status of children of women who were killed recently, the chairperson said the department had assured that children aged from 2 to 14 of (L) Siangshai, a mother of 10 children who was killed, will be put into institutional homes in East Jaintia Hills District.
She further said the two children of (L) G Bareh aged 8 and 12 will be taken care by their 62-year-old grandmother Meera Bareh.