Published: 03rd April 2019
Attacks on kids grew by 726% in 2018, more male children faced violence in the last 2 years
Activists seek stringent laws to curb attacks on children. Also, in most cases, the attacker is known to the child. People need to be educated on this aspect
The number of cases of attacks on children grew by a staggering 726.5 per cent from 2017 to 2018, a report by independent think-tank IndiaSpend revealed. While the number of cases was a seven in 2017, it grew to 69 the following year. The highest number of cases in 2018 was recorded in Tamil Nadu (13) followed by 12 in Odisha and seven each in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
In terms of the number of children killed in cases of violence, Maharashtra topped the list with five deaths. It was followed by Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura and Assam with three deaths each and West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh with two each. The total number of children dead in 2018 were 29. The total number of victims also saw a sharp rise from 2017 to 2018. While the number of victims was 136 in 2018, it was paltry 19 in the previous year.
The top three states in terms of the number of victims were Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha with 29, 21 and 14 victims respectively. While in 2018, 76 per cent of the children were male and 24 per cent were female. In 2017, the number of male children attacked made up 61 per cent of the total while female children made up 39 per cent of the total.
Activists are up in arms and calling for more stringent laws against perpetrators of such crimes. "Like we have a law for child labour, we need more stringent laws for child-related violence. Moreover, its implementation must be looked into with care. The existing laws must change and fast," a research scholar, who was a part of the team that drafted the report, said. Echoing similar views was Lakshmi, a volunteer with Bhumi, a non-governmental organization which works for the welfare of children.
"Firstly, children are ignored by governments as they do not have voting powers. They should stop being seen that way, only then will things improve. Also, in most cases, the attacker is known to the child and hence the case is not taken up strongly. People need to be educated on this aspect and encouraged to take up the case strongly irrespective of who the attacker is," she said.