Udupi, May 27, 2016: In a report it has come to light that V.S. Ugrappa, Chairman, Expert Committee on Prevention of Sexual Violence against Women and Children, on May 26, Thursday said that the district-level officials should give more attention to the welfare of women and children. He was chairing a meeting of district-level officials at the District Offices Complex, in Udupi.
Chairman Ugrappa asked the District Health and Family Welfare Officer Rohini about the number of persons living with HIV and number of scanning centres in the district, she was confused and could not explain, this made the Chairman to note that responsibility was lacking among officials.
Later a member of an NGO, told the meeting that there were about 6,000 persons with HIV. Premnath, District Social Welfare Officer, also struggled to answer the questions on the condition of SCs, STs hostels and whether CCTV cameras had been installed. Chairman Ugrappa said that the Social Welfare Department should be pro-active in providing facilities to the SCs, STs hostels and students.
Superintendent of Police K. Annamalai said that there was one district-level committee in the Police Department to prevent sexual harassment of women, Chairman Ugrappa said that such committees should be established at the taluk-level and police stations.
Udupi DC Dr Vishal said that there were 1,094 women for every 1,000 men in the district according to the 2011 census. But the sex ratio was down when compared with 2001 census, when there were 1,130 women per 1,000 men. But as far as the children up to six years were concerned, there were 958 girls for 1,000 boys. The desire to have a single child, not going for a second child after having a boy and migration were reasons for the decline in the sex ratio, he said. The panel was not convinced by the reply and directed the officials to take better measures to see that the sex ratio did not fall further.
Speaking to media on the sidelines, Chairman Ugrappa said that the conviction rate in the district was a super low 1.7 per cent. This was far lower when compared with other districts. The reason given by the Police Department that the witnesses turned hostile was untenable. The police should investigate heinous crime in a serious manner, he said. “Most of the officials failed to give proper responses to the committee except for DC Vishal at the meeting. A change in the mindset of the officials is necessary for effective functioning of the administrative machinery,” he said. Many people remarked that this was very much so in the official circles.