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Stakeholder roles for child friendly melas

As per the guidelines of The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) for organizing Child Friendly Melas and Large Gatherings the following are to be roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders in making a a mela child friendly.

National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)

  • NCPCR being an apex body is responsible for monitoring and ensuring child rights and child protection and deliberate on the preventive measures undertaken by the Local Mela Authority for children, who go missing during this event, prevention of child labour, child trafficking and child abuse.
  • NCPCR would finalize the concept of Child Friendly Melas/Large gatherings and build partnerships with State Government and other stakeholders to implement the said Guidelines.
  • NCPCR will generate awareness and disseminate information on child rights and entitlements under laws/schemes/policies.
  • To assess the situation of arrangements made by Mela/Event Authorities and district administration for safety and security of children during the said Mela, the Commission will hold preparatory meetings before the melas/Large scale events.
  • To facilitate the replication of best practice models across the country.

State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCRs)

  • Under Section (17) of CPCR Act 2005 SCPCRs are being established in most of the States/UTs. SCPCRs in the States will be responsible for overall coordination with State authorities and other stakeholders for organizing the mela and for ensuring proper implementation by the stakeholders.  SCPCRs will also be organizing trainings for the volunteers/students on child Protection issues.
  • To ensure convergence between various Departments/agencies to make a Child Friendly Mela.
  • SCPCR will also prepare a monitoring and progress report and send it to NCPCR.

Mela Organizing Committee

  • The retrospective analysis may be done by the Mela Organizing Committee to make strategies for risk management and better disaster preparedness.
  • Ensure discussion on Child Safety in agenda of preparatory meetings for the event.
  • Mela Organizing Committee should inform the local body (Municipality, PRI) concerned well in advance for necessary information and support.
  • Organizers should ensure that no shopkeeper will engage any form of child labour. child beggars inside and outside the premises; child goes missing, falls into the clutches of traffickers, who could exploit them and subject them to various kinds of abuse including child labor.
  • The whole information related to mela should be made available in related websites of the District.
  • At the time of distribution of the stalls, the mela authorities should take an affidavit from the shopkeepers that they will not engage any Child Labour.
  • Leverage maximum usage of various available technologies to ensure a Child Friendly Mela.
  • Like Child tracking bands with name of the child and mobile number of the parents on it.

District Administration

  • The District Magistrate/Commissioner shall be responsible for effective implementation of indicators of Child Friendly Melas/Large gatherings in his/her respective District including at the ward and village level.
  • Plan for more foot bridges/walkways/subways and emergency exits to be planned
  • Evolve strategies for crowd management, traffic management, safety and security,
  • Pre and Post assessment of the mela on the set indicators.
  • Hold preparatory meetings with mela organizers and other concerned persons.
  • Helpline Numbers to be displayed at various places in the mela premises.
  • Issue key warning indicating provisions of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) Act 2012, The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, and relevant sections of the Juvenile Justice (Care and protection of children) Act 2015.
  • Audio visual messages for protection and promotion of child rights to be displayed during mela/ large scale gatherings.
  • To make arrangements for display of awareness material at Railway station, bus stops and at other public places.
  • District Level Inspection Team in collaboration with CWC, DCPU, SJPU, Mela/event Organizers, Child line may be constituted.

Police Department

  • Police verification of all the volunteers should be done.
  • To alert the public, the names and photographs of those who have been arrested previously for child trafficking/POCSO or related offences may be displayed during the Mela/large events.
  • Deploy sufficient Police force to maintain law and order, especially women police officers.
  • Take necessary steps to ensure safety and security of all visitors with special attention to children.
  • Set up Control Room and ensure that CCTV cameras to be install at each Entry & Exit Gates, and inside the premises.
  • Deploy Special Juvenile Police Unit (SJPU) officials to ensure no incidence of child trafficking occurs.
  • Police officers should be in plain clothes while handling children.
  • The traffic directions and guidelines should be imposed by the Traffic Police authorities.
  • Electronic signboards should be used by traffic police to give important messages with regard to safety and security of visitors.
  • Traffic Police monitor and limit the speed of vehicle near to Melas to avoid any mishap.
  • Orientation to Auto/Taxi drivers on Helpline numbers to help unaccompanied children.

Health Department

  • Deploy onsite Medical emergency response teams and alert nearby hospitals as part of mass gathering preparedness plan for mass casualty.
  • Medical Tents should be set up in the mela premises in every one km distance. Free Medical aid should be provided.
  • Prepare a plan for mass casualty management at venue and direct nearby hospitals to prepare hospital preparedness plan with specialized service for the children
  • Keep updated contact details of nearest hospitals, private ambulances and primary health centers for emergency communication
  • Make sure that all staff know their roles and responsibilities and communication procedure needed for handling emergency especially sensitivity to the children.
  • Ayush stalls should be set up for providing information on Ayurvedic medicines and plants.

Urban Development

  • Provide adequate numbers of toilets at safe location within the Mela premises.
  • The toilets should not be located at remote corners of the premises for ensuring safety of children visiting them.
  • The location of the toilets should be conveniently approachable locations and there should be adequate numbers.
  • The toilets should be regularly cleaned by a dedicated staff.
  • Separate facilities of toilets should be made for girls, boys and disabled children.
  • The toilets for children should have child friendly provisions like fixtures and fittings (eg. Doors with child friendly latch, toilets with natural light and ventilation, adequate squatting area, water points and soaps etc at child accessible heights) and should have requisite feacal sludge managements provisions to ensure that hazards of backflow or back siphonage is avoided.
  • The toilets should be provided with running water and light bulbs on every toilet seat.
  • The floor of toilet should not be wet or too slippery to avoid slippage of children.
  • The dustbins should be placed at convenient location at every 250 meters with adequate numbers and should be emptied on regular basis.
  • Close circuit televisions (CCTV) should be installed near toilets to monitor safety of children.
  • To provide inputs with regard to possible vulnerabilities of children in the area eg. Child Trafficking etc.

Department of Fire and Rescue Services

  • Conduct a safety audit in the notified area and share the details with Police and disaster management department.
  • Maintain a list and location of food vendors using gas cylinders.
  • Inspect stalls, especially food and tea stalls that they have taken safety measures.
  • Fire stations should be set up in the mela area and firemen should be deployed all over the area.
  • Deploy rescue team and swimmers, if the gathering is organized near water body.
  • Verify emergency evacuation routes, exit points and its accessibility.

Electricity Board

  • Set up additional transformer for melas/large gatherings with respect to the required electricity.
  • Repair Street lights.

Indian Railways (DRMs)

  • Additional Number of trains to be arranged to cater the rush.
  • Railway Police Force to keep vigilance to ensure no child missing/trafficking. Whenever a child is found on the railway premises or train by RPF, GRP/Railway employee or other public servant or public spirited citizen, he/she may come to the aid of the child and bring him/her to the station Master/station superintendent”. Reference: SOP for Railways to ensure care and protection for children in contact with railways by NCPCR.
  • Helpline numbers should be displayed at all the railway stations

State Transport Department

  • Special buses to be introduced for transport.
  • GPS mapping of all public transport should be ensured.
  • Information regarding bus routes and numbers should be made available on the web page of the State/District.
  • Staff on Bus/Bus stand and other Public Transport should be sensitized on issues related to protection of children and ways to identify and support children in need of care and protection.
  • Child Helpline Numbers should be displayed prominently at bus stands and in buses on route.

Municipal Corporation/ Panchayati Raj Institutions

  • Ensure that the mela/event organizer has arranged all necessary facilities and safety for the public, especially children
  • Ensure that the event organizer has proper waste management system for the mela/large scale event.
  • Coordinate waste disposal, if the event are notified as state level event.
  • Ramps and walk ways should be widened.
  • Special elevators should be provided for the persons with disabilities.
  • Provisions of temporary toilets to be made.

Department of Labour and Employment

  • To issue an order to all the stall owners for non engagement of any form of Child Labour.
  • Obtain affidavits from the stall owner for making mela Child Labour free.

Department of Revenue and Disaster Management

  • Field checks for ensuring safety measures.
  • Verify the licenses obtained for special needs of the event
  • Disaster Relief Force should be deployed.
  • Planning meet on disaster preparedness should be held before organizing any large scale event.

Department of Women and Child Development

  • A Monitoring mechanism shall be developed by the Department of WCD.
  • Nutrition Corner for children.
  • Breastfeeding Booth: for women with small children, where they could feed their children. A Health Worker to be appointed at the booth to give advice to the mothers on importance of breastfeeding and health diets for lactating mothers.
  • ORS and other medicines should be provided to children and senior citizens, if required.
  • To ensure no junk food will be served in mela/event, ensure Nutritious packed food for children.
  • Organize Child Friendly Corner in the mela premises. Children can be engaged in creative activities like: drawing/paintings etc at this corner.
  • Arrangement for short term Shelter homes for children/families.
  • Mobile Anganwadis by ICDS. All the important information will be shared by Aganwadi workers.

District Child Protection Officer (DCPO)

  • DCPO of the concerned District should be the Nodal Officer designated for ease of functioning.

Child line India Foundation (1098)

  • Display of Helpline number, 1098 at various places inside and outside the premises.
  • Child line volunteers may be deployed in the melas/large scale events for providing assistance.
  • Childline may provide support for training Mela volunteers.
  • Assist in framing Child Protection Policy.

Students/Volunteers/NGOs

  • Police verification of the volunteers should be done before engaging them in the activity. The volunteers should be trained and sensitized to deal with children.
  • A standard questionnaire to be prepared in consultation with NCPCR and the same can be given to every volunteer.
  • Volunteers may be recruited from NSS/NCC units of colleges/universities.
  • There must be one volunteer per 10000 sq ft. or, 5 volunteers per Acre land of Mela. (Depends on the magnitude of the mela).
  • Volunteers may be given badge/T-shirts /cap/uniform with some messages written on it.Volunteers can be called Baal Mitras.
  • Volunteers would be deployed at Bus stands, Railways stations and other areas to spot and locate Missing /found children.

Source : NCPCR Handbook on Guidelines for organizing Child Friendly Melas and Large Gatherings.



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