A picture published in this paper on March 11 epitomises our failure to protect children from abuse and the culture of impunity that rules supreme regarding this issue. It shows a group of child-right activists holding placards that read grim statistics: 145 children have been raped in the first three months of the new year, and in the first couple of months, 50 children were killed. Given the societal taboo that exists centring rape and molestation, there is a possibility that a lot of such cases have gone unreported.
This points to a disturbing rise of violence and a breakdown of moral values. Not only that, conviction rate under the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act 2000 between 20019-2014, according to a study, has been less than 1 percent. Such sad statistics speaks volumes of the state's failure to protect the weak and the vulnerable.
This, after all, is not a mere law enforcement issue, this malady is criminal and social in nature and it should be handled as such. A speedy trial process in case of child rape can act as deterrent to potential perpetrators. It is also important to give the affected families legal and emotional support, as instances of out of court settlement in such cases is extraordinarily high. This is especially important in cases where the victim comes from a lower income background. Also, it is crucial to sensitise the society to take a comprehensive approach to tackle such heinous crimes.