Maharashtra Child Rights Commission faces major staff crunch
RTI by parent reveals the pathetic staff shortage at commission meant to protect child rights
Is the Maharashtra Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MCPCR) a dead government body? This remark is hardly surprising, coming from parents whose cases with the commission remain pending for months. With the commission not conducting any hearing for months, a parent filed an RTI that made quite a few revelations. Despite having 12 approved posts, the MCPCR runs with just four. The state government has not paid any heed to the commission's requests to fill in the remaining posts. Several cases filed by parents thus remain pending.
The commission deals with complaints regarding the violation of child rights. But it hadn't heard a single case in over six months leading to panic among parents who had nowhere to go for justice. Prasad Tulaskar thus sought information under the RTI regarding the delay. The Supreme Court of India also regularly entrusts the MCPCR with a supervisory role in many matters and thus directs the state government to strengthen the commission. However, in its written statement, the MCPCR has said that owing to the state government's inaction, the functioning of the commission has become impossible.
No administrative officer, hence no funds
Among the RTI revelations was the fact that there is no Administrative Officer in the commission resulting in the funds received from international bodies like UNICEF not being realised. The Administrative Officer's signatures are required to materialise such funds, including those for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. "Our case regarding ill-treatment of children by the school following a fee dispute is pending since 2016. Whenever we approach the commission, we are always told that there is a staff shortage. As many as 247 of the 280 total cases filed with the commission are pending as of today. This is really disturbing. It shows how the state government absolutely does not care for child rights," said Tulaskar, adding, "When I approached the CMO seeking information on funding and the staff shortage, I was directed to the Department of Women and Child Development. Shockingly, the WCD asked me to approach the MCPCR. I have now filed an appeal but there is no response yet." Pravin Ghuge, Chairperson of the Commission was unavailable for comment despite repeated attempts.
No. of cases pending with the commission
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