May 9, 2019
Coimbatore : As part of making the Country "Rape free India' by 2022 a group of NGOs have obtained a pledge from top political leaders and Lok Sabha poll candidates.
So far, 19 candidates from Tamil Nadu have pledged for the safety of women and children to support the campaign, which include from DMK, AIADMK, Congress, BJP and CPIM, P Rajagopal, convenor of Rape Free India, a concept from Kailash Sathyarthi Children Foundation, told reporters Thursday.
The ongoing campaign which aims to prioritise safety of children and women in the election agenda has witnessed commitment from over 292 Lok Sabha candidates in less than 25 days, he said..
The awareness drive has garnered 320 pledges from leaders across party lines in 20 states of the country.
The campaign is demanding a budgeted National Action Plan to make a “Rape Free India” and at least 10 per cent allocation for Child Protection in the Union Budget and also appeals to Party Presidents to suspend any person of their party accused of a sex crime pending investigation, a child rights activist Dr G Umashankar said.
Rajagopal said that Crimes against children in Tamil Nadu have shown a growing trend with an increase of 175 per cent between 2012 and 2016, which could be due to the increase in the awareness level and improvement in reporting.
In 2016, 2,856 cases of crimes against children were reported under IPC and POCSO. Of all the registered crimes against children across the country in 2016, about 3 per cent were from Tamil Nadu, which stands at 15th position in terms of percent share of the total incidences of crimes against children registered during 2016 in the country. The movement and the campaign has gained momentum he said.