SIALKOT: The newly established Child Protection and Welfare Bureau in Sialkot has rescued over 23 children engaged in beggary during a search operation carried out in different parts of the city.
Child Protection and Welfare Bureau assistant director Rao Khalil said, “Beggary is a vice and we as a society have become immune to it. Something needs to be done before these children lose out on their entire future.” Khalil said that the bureau was dedicating its efforts towards taking children off the streets and putting them in schools. “There are thousands of children begging on the streets instead of getting an education and people don’t seem to realize that these same children will grow into a life of crime without any opportunities,” he said. Khalil said that the child protection bureau had taken the children into their custody and was providing them with health care, education, food and residence. “We are contacting their parents but they will not be returned in their custody until we are confident that they will remain off the streets,” he said, adding that most parents themselves sent their children to beg on the streets.
The Local Child Protection Court in Sialkot has given these children into the official custody of the bureau for providing them with complete protection, free education, catering and residential facilities. “These children need a fresh start and we are working to ensure that they do not end up on the streets again,” Khalil said.
Sialkot assistant director Rao Khalil told reporters that stern legal action would also be taken against all those responsible for forcing these children into beggary.
The Child Protection Bureau has started functioning in Sialkot under the supervision of the provincial government for the welfare of destitute children. Khalil said that this would be the fifth child protection bureau working in Punjab, where as many as 32,000 destitute children have been rescued and provided shelter to date. PPI
Published in The Express Tribune, January 29th, 2011.
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