Bhubaneswar, April 9 (LocalWire): To highlight the issue of rising crimes against women and children, including rape and domestic violence, social activists have launched a campaign in Odisha to reach out to the party candidates to sensitize them on the topic and make it a top election agenda.
The campaign, jointly launched by People’s Cultural Centre (PECUC) and Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation on Monday here, seeks to reach out to the candidates of 21 parliamentary constituencies.
“It has been increasingly felt that there is a growing need to bring the issue to the forefront. The campaign will start public dialogues and sensitize candidates from different political parties,” the NGOs said.
The campaign has been launched across India and PECUC will coordinate it in Odisha.
During Monday’s launch of the campaign in Bhubaneswar, a public dialogue was organised which was attended by political representative, members of women’s group, youth, academicians and media persons.
“Sexual abuse of women and children including rape is a national problem. It is imperative that the issue should be the top priority for the political class of the country,” said Rakesh Senger, director of the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation.
“We demand that this election, issue of women and children safety should be at the forefront. Any person accused of rape should not be allowed to fight elections in this country” said Ranjan Mohanty, secretary of PECUC.
He said that over 100 rapes were committed in the country daily. In more than 94% of the cases in 2016, the victims were known to the accused. It Odisha, the situation was different, as 72% of the cases were committed by people unknown to the victims, Mohanty said.
Also, the conviction rate is very low in Odisha, which is 6%, second lowest in the country. The campaign demands a budgeted national action plan against rape and child protection.