SC Orders Action Plan To Save Children

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The Supreme Court in its ruling directed the Central government to formulate within six months a National Action Plan for children addicted to alcohol, tobacco, drugs and suffering from other substance abuse.

The court also asked the Centre to conduct a survey within four months to study the extent of prevalence of substance abuse amongst the children.

The Directions issued are: (i) Complete a national survey and generate a national data base within a period of six months; (ii) Formulate and adopt a comprehensive national plan within four months, which will among other things also address the areas of immediate concern noted earlier; and (iii) Adopt specific content in the school curriculum under the aegis of NEP.

The court also ordered opening of de-addiction centre for children in every district within six months and inclusion of awareness against alcoholism and substance abuse in the school curriculum.

This included creation of a standard operating procedure to deter drug peddling and distribution of drugs in schools, child care institutions and on police action to be taken in these cases.

Latest Health ministry survey shows that a shocking 28.6 per cent used tobacco and 15 per cent were addicted to alcohol. Similarly, in the girls aged 15-19, 5.5 per cent used tobacco while 4 per cent were addicted to alcohol.

The petition was filed to ensure that children are provided with a better and more healthy childhood. Trafficking and drug abuse inherently linked to each other are the most prevalent forms of organised crime in the world.

Senior advocate H S Phoolka represented Bachpan Bachao Andolan in the Supreme Court.

Petition was filed by 2014 Nobel Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi’s NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA).

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