NCPCR: Police verification of mentors, no in-person interaction in 'Desh Ka Mentor' programme

Desh Ka Mentor Programme Delhi: The mentors will not be allowed to meet the mentees offline, says NCPCR

NCPCR: Police verification of mentors, no in-person interaction in 'Desh Ka Mentor' programme NCPCR says police verification of mentors and prevention of in-person meeting in 'Desh Ka Mentor' programme
Press Trust of India | Jan 19, 2022 - 6:26 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: Police verification of mentors, masking phone numbers of children and no in-person interaction between mentor and mentees are among the measures introduced by the Delhi government in its 'Desh Ka Mentor' programme to ensure the safety of children, the NCPCR said. The mentors will not be allowed to meet the mentees offline and in case of a violation, he or she will be deregistered from the programme, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) said in a press note.

The commission had received a complaint alleging that under the Delhi government scheme, children and unknown people are brought together for the purpose of education and career guidance and it may expose the young ones to probable safety and security risks. Taking cognizance of the matter, the apex child rights body wrote to the Delhi chief secretary, seeking information on safety measures that are followed. A letter from the Directorate of Education (DoE), Delhi was received by the commission enlisting the selection process of mentors and comments on the concern raised by the commission. However, the explanation was not found satisfactory by the NCPCR and it called for immediate suspension of the scheme till the time all loopholes pertaining to the safety of children are plugged. In response, the DoE said it has added new features like necessary police verification of the mentors to ensure the safety and security of children.

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“As per the circular, a report of criminal record (if any) about the registered mentor would be obtained from the concerned police station. In case any adverse report from the police is received, the mentor would be de-registered immediately,” it said. This will apply to all mentors already registered under the programme, it added. The NCPCR said it was also told that all conversations of the mentors and mentees will be recorded by the department.

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“There is no in-person interaction intended among the mentors and mentees and since every phone call will be recorded by the government, there is no scope left for child abuse,” it said. Also, the contact number of a child/mentee shall not be made available to the mentor or any other person. “Mentors are not allowed to meet with mentees offline and in case of violation, he/she will be deregistered from the programme,” the DoE informed the NCPCR. Also, parents of students have been advised to ensure the presence of an adult family member during conversations between them and their mentors from time to time through an app under the ‘Desh Ke Mentor’ programme, the DoE said.

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