To bring about coordination when addressing issues related to children who come in contact with the railways, the Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights conducted a joint stakeholders meeting at the Conference Hall, KRCL, Margao, on January 30, 2023.
Stakeholders from railways, constituting the station master, TTE/TC, commercial and technical railway staff, Railway Protection Force (RPF), Government Railway Police (GRP) and secondary stakeholders, that is the coolies/porters, vendors at the station, cleaning staff, and taxi, auto rickshaw and motorcycle pilots came together to discuss ways to protect and provide care and support to children in contact with railways.
The stakeholders were briefed by Peter F Borges, Chairperson, Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, about the support system required to create a protective environment for children at the railway station, the mechanism to safeguard children’s rights at the station premises, and the procedure to be followed to provide care and support to a child found at a railway station and on trains in the context of standard operating procedure by the Railway Police Force.
Speaking to GT Media, Peter Borges said, “Basically the need was felt that in view of the surging crimes against children. All stakeholders need to know about the functioning of the child protection system. Recently there were a few cases of concern with regard to children rescued from railway premises.”
He further said, “The stakeholders were made aware of the latest SOP by Indian Railways. Few hurdles like transportation of children, hurdles in rescue process were discussed.”
The meeting was coordinated by Francis Lobo, Security Commissioner, Railway Police Force. The meeting was attended by Roselle Solomon, a member of the Child Welfare Committee, South Goa; Ana Fernandes, the coordinator of the Konkan Railway Childline; and other Childline teams operating in the state of Goa.