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from daijiworld's special correspondent

Panaji, Aug 23: A non-government organization (NGO) - GOACAN - has called upon the Education Department to involve the village child committees and the Parent Teachers Associations (PTA) towards tackling the problem of strangers' injecting school children with unknown substance,  by drawing up a comprehensive, long-term strategy.

In a letter to the Director of Education Mrs.Celsa Pinto GOACAN has highlighted the concerns raised by village based Consumer Forums in Salcete Taluka that primary school going children in various villages have been accosted and injected at the school gate either at the start of school time or at recess, at the end of school hours or whilst waiting at bus stops for transportation.

Unknown persons are believed to have been involved in injecting predominantly girl children from various primary schools resulting in a scare as many of the parents are not forthcoming to file complaints either with the school authorities or with the concerned police Stations.

The letter with copies to the District Collectors of North and South Goa, the DIG of Police, Director of Health Services and Director, Department of Women and Child Development and Chairperson and the Goa State Commission for Children calls for instruction to all Heads of Educational Institutions to take extra precaution not to permit any unauthorized persons to either enter the school premises or wait outside the school gates.

The letter also calls upon Staff members of the respective schools to talk to students and encourage them to come forward with any information with regard to these injections where no complaints have yet been filed. It further requests the Education Department officials to visit the schools and conduct their own enquiries.

GOACAN is convinced that the Village Child Committees, to be set up in Village Panchayats and Municipal Councils under the GOA Children's Act 2003, have to play a major role in taking action to nab the culprits involved in such undesirable activities. The protection of children and safe guarding their rights is primarily a community responsibility and cannot be the responsibility only of the police force.


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