Imphal: Social Welfare Minister Heikham Dingo Singh on Tuesday made an appeal for cooperation to stop sexual abuses against children in the state.
The minister was speaking at the closing function of the ‘Mass Awareness Rally Against Child Sexual Abuse’ held at Ima Khunthokhanbi Sanglen, Thangmeiband, in Imphal. The event was organised by the Department of Social Welfare, Government of Manipur.
Minister Dingo said that for the last year, the number of cases relating to sexual abuse amongst the children in the state has been increasing at an alarming rate. He said more than 150 cases have been registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, to date. Expressing concern over the increasing number of such cases, the minister said Manipur tops the list in reported cases of sexual abuse against children in the country.
“This is quite unfortunate and therefore I appeal to all the stakeholders, including CSOs, Meira Paibis, local clubs and student organisations to act together in to stop such crimes in the state,” the minister said.
Minister further added that a mass awareness programme regarding POCSO Act will be organised in all the districts. “This will help in creating awareness among the people and also in stopping crimes, especially sexual abuses against children. Organizing such rallies will definitely help in spreading messages to the masses,” he added.
Reiterating that children are the future of the nation, the minister said that any inhuman act like sexual abuse should be immediately reported to the concerned so that follow-up actions can be initiated against the culprits. “If proper action has not been taken up in time, it will help in recurrence of the crime and will also give huge impact to the society,” the minister said.
Earlier, a mass rally against Child Sexual Abuse was flagged off by P Vaiphei, additional chief secretary, Social Welfare Department. More than 2,000 children from various districts of the state took part in the rally.
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