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Government is planning for railway stations for anti-child trafficking

Mangaluru : Union minister for women and child development Maneka Gandhi said that the ministry is planning to bring 200 railway stations across the country under its radar by the end of this year in a move to curb child trafficking.

“About 90% of the child trafficking cases take place through railway network and there are 12,000 railway stations in the country and we have started the programme in 20 stations,” she said here on Sunday.

The ministry will put up posters in all bogies and ask passengers to call 1098 in case they see a child travelling alone or in an uncomfortable situation with adults . “As soon as the train reaches the next station, somebody will come to investigate the matter. Passengers can also inform railway police,” she added.

The ministry will also set up telephone booths in railway stations where a child can come and call for help. “We hope these measures will help stop child trafficking,” she said.

She said that priority will be given to set up more phone booths in railway stations so that children can dial the Childline’s number quickly. “Officials will arrive at the address and do the needful. We will also create awareness among railway officials so that they can identify children in distress and inform NGOs who will rehabilitate them,” she added.

Childline director Rene D’Souza said the system has been made centralized through a central communication centre and all calls are routed through Chennai and hence it is difficult to know how many cases are reported from railway stations in Mangaluru.

Last year the Childline received 3,555 calls and of them 13 were from railway stations.

The centre gets about 350-400 calls pertaining to child abuse and trafficking every month.

(NGO News from : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/)

WCD remarked fake to 90% of NGOs who applied for funds

New Delhi: In a disturbing revelation, the women and child development (WCD) ministry has found that nearly 90% of around 1,400 NGOs seeking financial grants under a major training and employment scheme were fake.

Top officials in the ministry said applications were invited from NGOs to impart skill development training to women in rural areas under its Support to Training and Employment Programme (STEP) which has a corpus of Rs 30 crore.

“We had received 1,400 to 1,500 applications of which 90% are fake. The scrutiny of applications revealed that most of the NGOs have applied multiple times giving false names and details,” a senior official said.
STEP is a major programme being implemented by WCD ministry, aimed at providing employability skills to women. The official said the ministry has decided to upload the names of all fake NGOs on its website so that they can be “exposed” and “identified” by other ministries as well.

The last date of submission of project proposals by NGOs for financial assistance under the scheme for 2015-16 was March 31.

Applications were sought by the ministry from NGOs after the scheme was revised by WCD minister Maneka Gandhi to improve its implementation.

The ministry had earlier issued an advisory to all NGOs which had applied for financial grants under the scheme to impart training to women in sectors like carpentry, plumbing, electrical works and even construction and IT.

The STEP scheme has already covered 24,037 beneficiaries in 2014-15 and 31,478 beneficiaries in 2013-14. The number stood at 30,481 in the 2012-13.

(News from: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com)

NGOs must be noticed before blacklisting : High Court

ngo writ

Government bodies must issue show cause notices to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) before blacklisting them and follow principles of natural justice even if the rules do not provide for issuing such notices, the Madras High Court Bench here has said.

Allowing a writ petition filed by Community Action for Rural Development (CARD) based in Pudukottai district, Justice V.M. Velumani said that blacklisting was a serious issue involving civil consequences and therefore it could not be done without issuance of a show cause notice. CARD had challenged an order passed by the General Manager of Rashtriya Mahila Kosh, a society established by Union Ministry of Women and Child Development for providing micro credit to poor women.

The order passed on April 24, 2010 had blacklisted the NGO for failing to repay funds granted to it.

In his affidavit, the NGO’s chief functionary P. Vedachalam contended that his organisation had entered into an agreement with RMK in September 2006 for distribution of credit to poor women.

Accordingly, it received Rs.60 lakh under revolving fund scheme and Rs.22.5 lakh under housing loan scheme.

The NGO disbursed the money by way of credit to members of self-help groups but found it difficult to get the loans repaid by them.

Hence, it decided to stop the lending activity and refunded up to Rs.70.34 lakh to RMK. Yet, the organisation was blacklisted and hence the present case.

Pointing out that the agreement between the petitioner and RMK states that borrowing NGOs could be blacklisted if they defaulted on payment of instalments for more than six months without a valid reason, the judge said that it was unfair to blacklist the petitioner- NGO which had paid Rs.4 lakh on April 9, 2010.

Ms. Justice Velumani also rejected the contention of RMK that the writ petition should have been filed only in the High Court of Delhi since the agreement was signed there.

She said a part of cause of action had arisen within the jurisdiction of Madras High Court Bench here since the blacklisting order was served on the petitioner-organisation at its Pudukottai address and therefore the writ petition filed here was very much maintainable under law.

(News from: http://www.thehindu.com)

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