‘Child-friendly temple project to be launched in Palani soon’

In order to prevent crimes against children during festivals in places of worship, Tamil Nadu Commission for Protection of Child Rights (TNCPCR) has planned to conduct a pilot study at Dhandayuthapani Swami Temple in Palani next month, according to its chairperson Saraswathy.

Speaking to reporters recently, she said seven places of worship, including Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, Tiruttani Murugan Temple, Velankanni shrine, Nagoor dargah and Tiruvannamalai Temple, have been identified for implementation of a ‘child-friendly’ temple project devised by the Centre.

The objective was to prevent children from being abused in such festivals. For instance, children missing at such events were used for begging and engaged as child labour by shops/vendors. Hence, in a bid to prevent such acts, the project would be implemented with the support of the district administration, police and other stakeholders.

The chairperson was here to conduct a public hearing over a complaint lodged by an advocate from Kerala with the National Human Rights Commission that a 16-year-old girl from Nagalapuram, near Bodinayakannur here, was allegedly gang-raped.

Inquiry revealed that the victim delivered a baby after she was in love with a youth. The complaint that she was gang-raped was incorrect. As the girl died, the child born to the victim was handed over to an adoption agency in Gandhigram in Dindigul district. The Commission planned to recommend compensation to the victim’s family.

After inspecting the personnel there, Ms. Saraswathy and commission member V Ramaraj conducted the public hearing at Theni Collectorate. In all, seven persons, including the girl’s grandfather, were examined.

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