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Child Rights Commission takes cognisance of India Today report on children kept in Delhi madrasas during Coronavirus Lockdown

Last week, India Today had broadcasted a report titled 'Madrasa Hotspot' wherein it showed how Delhi-based madrasas had crammed children into small rooms and defied all lockdown and social distancing norms

The National Commission for Protection of Children Rights (NCPCR) has taken cognisance of the report broadcasted on India Today about how children were crammed into small rooms in the madrasas in Delhi during the lockdown, with no regard to the social distancing norms amidst raging coronavirus outbreak in the country. In a letter written to the Department of Women and Child Development and Social Welfare, the NCPCR said that it has taken suo-moto cognisance over India Today’s ‘Madrasa Hotspots’ report under section 13(1) of the CPCR Act, 2005.

The letter brings to attention the blatant violation of the social distancing norms and lockdown guidelines for the children staying in madrasas, especially Madarsa Darul-Ul-Uloom Usmania and Madarsa Islahul Mumuneen, Madanpur Khadar Extension.

The letter also cites Supreme Court issued guidelines for children staying in child care institutions in Suo Moto Writ Petition (Civil) No. 4 of 2020 which provide an insight into maintaining the necessary safety in all places where children are staying. Besides, the NCPCR also enclosed a copy of UNICEF framed Guidelines for Child Care Institutions under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.

The NCPCR has sought necessary legal action against the people responsible for endangering the lives of children, along with asking for complete implementation of recommended lockdown guidelines and advisories. The Commission has also asked the Department of Women and Child Development and Social Welfare to submit a report on the action taken in this matter at the earliest.

Last week, India Today journalist Rahul Kanwal hosted an investigative show on how Madarsa’s in India has emerged as the Coronavirus hotspot. The show reported how various Delhi based madarsa’s operators are hiding the headcount of children at a time when social distancing has been deemed as the only way to tackle the coronavirus outbreak in India.

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