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2023: Minor Girl Victim Support Scheme under POCSO



  May 21, 2024

2023: Minor Girl Victim Support Scheme under POCSO



1. What is the purpose of the Minor Girl Victim Support Scheme?

   - The scheme aims to provide integrated care and support to minor pregnant girl victims under the POCSO Act, ensuring they have access to both emergency and non-emergency services for their immediate and long-term rehabilitation.

2. Who are the beneficiaries of this scheme?

   - Initially targeted at abandoned or orphaned pregnant girls, the scheme now includes all pregnant girl victims under 18 years, who are covered under Sections 4 and 6 of the POCSO Act.

3. What are the main components of the scheme?

   - The scheme offers comprehensive support under one roof, including medical care, psychological counseling, and legal assistance. It aims to facilitate immediate access to necessary services and support long-term rehabilitation efforts.

4. How does the scheme handle cases involving medical termination of pregnancy (MTP)?

   - The scheme remains ambiguous on whether benefits continue if a victim opts for an MTP or experiences a miscarriage. It only clearly covers girls who continue with their pregnancies or those who are denied MTP by court orders.

5. What are the criticisms of the scheme?

   - Critics point out several inconsistencies and oversights, such as the misleading nomenclature that does not reflect its inclusiveness and a lack of clear guidelines for various scenarios, such as changes in the victim's age or personal circumstances.

6. How does the scheme address legal and procedural issues?

   - There are discrepancies in how the scheme interprets legal requirements, such as the role of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and the procedures for medical examinations under the POCSO Act, which need clarification to ensure they align with existing laws and guidelines.

7. What are the financial implications of the scheme?

   - The scheme involves significant financial commitments, including initial and monthly payments to eligible victims until the age of 21, with possible extensions. This raises concerns about the economic burden on the government, especially considering the high incidence of child marriages and teenage pregnancies in some regions.

8. How does the scheme propose to manage cases of newborn surrender?

   - The scheme suggests that newborns may be placed in designated care until the victim turns 18, after which the surrender process is explained. This contradicts current adoption regulations that do not set age thresholds for mothers to surrender their infants.

9. What improvements are needed for the scheme?

   - To avoid confusion and effectively meet its objectives, the scheme requires comprehensive revisions to address its current shortcomings, ensure alignment with legal standards, and provide clear, actionable guidelines for all stakeholders involved.

10. Is there support for girls who choose non-institutional care?

    - It remains unclear if the benefits outlined for girls in institutional care are equally available to those in non-institutional settings, such as living with their families. This needs explicit clarification to ensure all beneficiaries receive equitable support.

These FAQs highlight the intentions and challenges associated with the Minor Girl Victim Support Scheme, emphasizing the need for clarity and consistency in its implementation to effectively support its intended beneficiaries.



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