DGP Sulkhan Singh on Thursday praised the state’s “anti-Romeo” squads for helping in creating a safe environment outside educational institutions.
“We have constituted anti-Romeo squads to check harassment. Some people with vested interests tried to create controversy on the issue. But lakhs of boys were given counseling and even action was taken in the cases where it was needed,” said the DGP, speaking at a seminar on safety of school children at the RLB Memorial Senior Secondary School in Lucknow.
Speaking at the same event, Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma said the government is working on ensuring security of children inside school premises and while they commute between home and school.
Addressing a seminar on safety of children in schools at RLB Memorial Senior Secondary School, Sharma said the government is gathering suggestions from all stakeholders – school managers, guardians and teachers. He said the government will also run an awareness campaign in all districts till October 15 in this regard.
“After the incident in Haryana (Ryan International School murder in Gurgaon), most school managers are scared. I was myself scared lest something like this happened in our state. It is the joint responsibility of the school managers, guardians and government to ensure safety of children and they should not have negative approach towards the other, instead work as complimentary to each other,” he said.
Sharma said the children up to class 5 should not be given smartphones and should rather be given mobile phones with basic features, if necessary. He said CCTV cameras should be installed inside school premises and must cover as much area as possible. Sharma said school managers and the government should also think of using technology, including GPS tracking of school vehicles.
DGP Sulkhan Singh said the guardians should see that their children are safe not just in physical space but also in cyber space. “These days, children spend a lot of time in cyber space. It not only blunts their mental development but also has several risk factors involved. The girls are especially susceptible to crimes on social media. They should not accept the friend requests of people they don’t know,” he said. Singh said the parents should report any incidents of cyber bullying to police and agencies like Women Power Line will conduct their investigation with confidentiality.
He said police will also help the schools in verifying backgrounds of potential support staff and school transport personnel.
Sharma rejected the argument that government officers and public representatives should enroll their children into government schools to improve the standard of education in public schools. He said, “It is said that IAS officers and politicians should send their children to government schools. No, I do not believe in this. Our efforts will bear fruit when the child of a peanut seller will study in the government school and become a citizen of the first class.”