‘Bible Being Taught To Children Of Women Prisoners’ Finds A Study By National Child Rights Protection Body

by Swarajya Staff - Apr 7, 2021 12:29 PM +05:30 IST
‘Bible Being Taught To Children Of Women Prisoners’ Finds A Study By National Child Rights Protection BodyRepresentative image of children studying at a school (Pradeep Gaur/Mint via Getty Images)

In a study conducted on the educational status of the children of women prisoners, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has flagged instances of the Bible being taught to children even if they are not Christian.

The report is based on 144 responses received from women prisoners, their children, heads of children’s homes and hostels, heads of schools and prison officials.

The study covered eight prisons meant for women in Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra, reports The Indian Express.

Under the section, “Problems identified during the visits and issues observed in jails”, the report points out the example of a prison for convicted women in Lucknow that has permitted an NGO to teach the Bible to the children living there.

The report also mentioned a surprise visit to a children’s home in Ghaziabad where children of women prisoners stay. The child rights protection body found that children were being taught religious teachings of a particular religion other than one practiced by the children at the Asha Deep Foundation.

“The Commission conducted a surprise visit and retrieved around 26 Bibles from the lockers and rooms of the non-Christian children,” it said.

“The Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 defined these children as ‘Children in need of Care and Protection’ and makes it binding on the State machinery to ensure that these children do not fall prey to institutions which not only compromises with their safety and security but denies them the right to preserve identity, including nationality, name and family relations as recognised by the law without unlawful interference (UNCRC),” the report stated.

NCPCR is a statutory body set up in March 2007 under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005. It is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

The Commission's mandate is to ensure that all laws, policies, programmes, and administrative mechanisms are in consonance with the child rights perspective.

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