The Minister of Women & Child Development, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi has said that the Government will soon bring an anti-trafficking legislation into the Parliament, the draft of which is ready. She was addressing the Regional Editors’ Conference organised by the Press Information Bureau of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in Chandigarh today. The Minister said that the Government will try to introduce the Bill in the winter session of the Parliament. It will cover rescue, relief and reintegration of trafficked persons, and for the first time will make a distinction between those trafficked and the traffickers, she explained.
Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi highlighted the steps being taken by the Government for the safety and protection of women and children of the country. Recently, the Ministry of Women and Child has launched POCSO e-Box which is a simple and easy facility for children or any adult to register complaints of child sexual abuse or harassment. 81 complaints have already been received on this e-Box, the Minister disclosed. In another important initiative to track missing children, the Minister said, the Khoya Paya portal has already reported nearly 6000 cases of missing/sighted children since its launch last year. Runaway/Missing children are also being helped under Special Operating Procedures developed in association with Railways. Smt Maneka Gandhi elaborated that 13000 children have already been helped under this initiative and posters are being pasted in all railway coaches to report children in distress.
Some of the other landmark initiatives taken by the Government include decision to install panic buttons on all cell phones for women in distress from 1st of January 2017, setting up of nearly 170 One Stop Centres for women affected by violence by March 2017, Flagship programme Beti bachao Beti Padhao to reverse the declining child sex ratio, 33% reservation for women in police force, and setting up a large Home for 1000 widows in Vrindavan, said Smt Maneka Gandhi. The Minister further elaborated that Guidelines for Matrimonial Websites are being implemented to prevent their misuse, an online portal Mahil e-Haat for women to sell their products has been set up on which business worth nearly six lakh rupess was transacted in the first six months itself, STEP programme of training women has been completely revamped, women sarpanches are being trained to empower them to administer the villages professionally , and scheme of Gender Champions has been launched in schools.
Last but not the least, the Government is now working full time to revamp the anganwadi system to change ways in which nutrition is being administered to children and pregnant women in them, the WCD Minister said. To ensure healthy children, the Government is now working for six months’ mandatory maternity leave for working women for which the Ministry of Labour and Employment has moved to introduce amendments in the Act.
Summing up, the Women and Child Development Minister, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi said the Government is moving fast on all fronts to change the status of women and children in the country.
Editors and senior journalists from the Northern states of Punjab, Haryana, UP, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Union territory of Chandigarh and from the North-eastern states are attending the two day conference being held in Chandigarh.