Taking serious note of children being forced to sell trinkets and toys at traffic signals and street-corners, the High Court of Karnataka has directed the stakeholders to meet and suggest ways to rehabilitate and provide such children education.
A Division Bench of the court, headed by Chief Justice PB Varale, directed the meeting to be held on November 15 under the aegis of the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KSLSA). Stakeholders and organisations working for the protection of child rights would be part of the meeting.
The court was hearing a petition of a child rights foundation from Bengaluru. The High Court noted it had, on earlier occasions, directed the authorities concerned to take action in this regard. It pointed to a February 18, 2021 direction following which a meeting of stakeholders was held. The State government also filed an action-taken report on the issue. But no suggestions on rehabilitation of such children were made, the court noted. All stakeholders who were part of the earlier meeting would also be part of this meeting and make suggestions regarding the government’s report The meeting would be organised in the High Court itself. For this, the Registrar has been directed make arrangements.
The State has submitted an affidavit stating that the child helpline is being publicised in every forum, including Namma Metro. It was displayed at the recent Dasara celebrations in Mysuru and other places. To create awareness on the child helpline, all the public transport corporations have been asked to display the helpline numbers. Autorickshaws have also been roped in to display the numbers. The High Court directed for more effective implementation of this procedure. It said also the government should direct television channels, cable TV channels and other private networks to regularly display the child helpline and the government should monitor this.
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The court observed that forcing children to sell toys and other things at traffic signals is a violation of their fundamental rights under Article 21A (Right to Education) as well as Article 21 (Protection of life and personal liberty).