The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that there are several villages in Rajasthan's Banswara district wherein over 500 families were found to have allegedly used their children as pawn to get money for food. "It has taken suo motu cognisance of a media report that there are several villages in Banswara district of the state of Rajasthan in which more than 500 families were found to have used their children as pawn in exchange of Rs 1,500-Rs 2,000 from the Gadaria (shepherd) community to get food," NHRC said in a statement.
The commission has issued a notice to the chief secretary and the Rajasthan government calling for a detailed report in the matter within six weeks, the statement added. It observed that the news report, if true, raises a serious issue of violation of human rights of children who instead of getting education and upbringing, have been given to the custody of unknown people in lieu of money.
"The authorities are expected to identify all the victim children and to take steps to reunite them with their families and ensure all basic amenities, including food and education, to the children of the aggrieved families," the statement said. While issuing the notice, the NHRC said that the Right to Food is a basic human right.The news report claimed that government-run schemes like MGNREGA and Bhamashah have "never been implemented" in these areas, the commission said.
It also asked the state government to inform the status of implementation of flagship programmes announced and being run by both the central government and Rajasthan government."The state government is also expected to conduct a survey to check if such practice is prevailing in other districts of the state," the NHRC said.
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