Nagpur: DCP Deepali Masirkar chose to open up loud and clear as she aired her views about child abuse in Nagpur district. She took the opportunity to reveal that even she had to face the situation when she was a child.
Addressing the installation ceremony of Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP), Nagpur on Sunday, she said, “When I was five years old, my maths teacher used to touch me inappropriately, but because of lack of awareness, I never spoke about it to elders.” The annual theme of IAP this year is ‘Stop Child Abuse’.
Lata Mangeshkar Hospital’s paediatric department head Dr Nilofer Mujawar took over as the new president of IAP, while Dr Rishi Lodaya as the secretary. IAP national president Dr Santosh Soans, president elect of central IAP 2017, was the chief guest, while Masirkar was the guest of honour.
Masirkar said, “Most of you, during childhood, must have gone through some or the other form of abuse. The problem is we don’t speak up. Parents only warn children not to speak to strangers but my maths teacher was not a stranger. In most cases, the demons are at your home.”
Masirkar also shared a case in the city where a 72-year-old retired scientist used to rape his three adopted daughters. She said, “Out of frustration, the 15-year-old narrated her plight to her schoolteacher. But the teacher told her not to share this to anyone, and even her gynaecologist and the NGO she asked help from did not disclose it to police.”
Politicians don’t bother about the issue because the issue has no bearing for their vote bank, the IPS officer said. Nagpur district still doesn’t have a child welfare committee. “The committee requires a dedicated force to educate rescued children, but instead of setting it up, the government planned to dissolve the committee. At present we are forced to use the Child Welfare committee of Bhandara who spend three days a week at Nagpur. Whenever we rescue children, they have to be kept on wait for the availability of Bhandara committee,” she added.
Masirkar asked IAP members to adopt one rescued child each. She said, “You don’t have to spend money on them. They just need your care and guidance. I am going to provide the list of such children. Let’s set a target of adopting 50 such children this year.”