Chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s dream project, ‘Kanyashree,’ has played a crucial role in curbing crimes like trafficking of women and children and child-marriage, the joint secretary of the women and child development and social welfare department, Sharmistha Das, claimed today.
Using ‘Kanyashree’ as a weapon, the state government is now urging the police and non-government organizations like Shati Vahini to go ahead to the micro level to generate awareness so that such crimes are minimised in the state. In a special training programme for police personnel jointly organized by the district police, district legal services authority (DLSA) and Shakti Vahini, here today, the joint secretary emphasised on the utility of Kanyashree.
The programme was also attended by Debashis Baral, the senior Deputy Commissioner of Kolkata Police, Deepto Ghosh, secretary, DLSA, Malda and Hassan Ali Shah, the chairperson of the child welfare committee (CWC). The joint secretary, in her session on ‘Kanyasree project as tool for preventing child trafficking,’ said, “West Bengal is home to 88.34 lakh teenager girls as per the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB). Most of these girls are vulnerable to child trafficking in the form of child marriage and other forms of coercion. Kanyasree project, an initiative of the government of West Bengal, is an exclusive scheme to save the vulnerable girls.”
Project director of Shakti Vahini Subir Roy said a child was trafficked to Delhi for marriage in a recent case of old malda police station. “The victim’s father contacted Shakti Vahini. A team conducted a search operation in Delhi with the help of the Delhi police. The girl could not be traced there but the raid created a fear among the traffickers and the girl was sent back to Malda. As per the direction of the child welfare committee, Malda, the girl has been given shelter in a children’s home. Till date, around 700 victims have been rescued from various states of north India, and 50% of them belong to West Bengal and a sizable number of them belongs to Malda district,” he said. Sixty police personnel who attended the programme were explained on how to take action against trafficking of teenagers and prevent banes like child marriage.