India Develops Portal to Help Rehabilitate Children in Need

The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has launched an application under the Baal Swaraj portal to help rehabilitate children in street situations (CiSS). Baal Swaraj enables the real-time online tracking and monitoring of children in need of care and protection.

According to a press release, the portal is a first-of-its-kind initiative in India. The CiSS application will be used to receive and log CiSS data from every state and union territory in the country. It will track a child’s rescue and rehabilitation process.

The portal has two functions: COVID-19 care and CiSS. The COVID-19 care link caters to children who have lost either or both parents due to COVID-19 or otherwise post-March 2020. It follows a six-stage framework. In the first stage, through the portal, the child’s details are collected. The second stage is filing a social investigating report (SIR), which investigates the child’s background. The District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) from the District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) supervises this process by talking to and counselling the child. An Individual Care Plan (ICP) is formulated in the third stage. The fourth stage involves getting an order from the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) based on the SIR submitted to the committee. The fifth stage is allocating the schemes and benefits that the beneficiary can avail of.  The sixth stage consists of a checklist to evaluate the progress or follow up on the report.

Reporting a child under the CiSS link will lead to a form that will ask for the child’s and the informant’s details. Once registered, a registration ID is generated along with the contact information of the concerned DCPO to follow up. The DCPO will get information about the child on the portal’s dashboard and will take the case forward.

The press release mentioned the application also provides a platform for professionals and organisations to provide any help that they can to children in need. Open shelters, counselling services, medical services, sponsorships, deaddiction services, education services, legal/paralegal services, volunteering, student volunteering, identification of hotspot, identification of CiSS, or any other assistance may be offered.

To provide professional help, one must visit the official website, click on “Citizen Portal” and go to “Providing Services to help CiSS”. Select “For Individual/Professional” to opt to provide a service as an individual or select “For Organisations & Institutions” to opt to provide as an organisation. Fill in all the required details and submit. Once registered, a registration ID is generated along with the contact information of the DCPO of the state or union territory. The participants, including informants, professionals, or organisations, will be awarded a digital certificate acknowledging their contribution after the DCPO assesses the case.

The release stated that the application embodies Article 51 (A) of the Indian Constitution as it provides a platform to the public and organisations catering to the welfare of the children to report any child in need of assistance. NCPCR is an Indian statutory body established by an Act of Parliament, the Commission for Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005.

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