The state follows others in setting up its first “Baal Mitra Police Thana” and as per the Juvenile Justice Act, has a separate room with bright colours and paintings in an effort to appear sensitive and approachable. Following in the footsteps of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Telangana and Kerala, Uttarakhand has set up its first child-friendly police station in Dalanwala, Dehradun. The initiative has been taken to make the police sensitive to the needs of children.
The Dalanwala police station has dedicated a room in its building with a separate entrance for children and has paintings on its walls, toys and comic books to make them feel comfortable while interacting with the police. The special police station has been set up under the guidance of the Uttarakhand Child Rights Protection Commission and took the help of social organisations to set up its infrastructure.
Under the Juvenile Justice Act, a child-friendly infrastructure should include a distinct room or a corner for the said purpose, along with facilities, which include sitting arrangements, toilet, safe drinking water and a children-friendly ambience which includes attractive paintings, toys, bright colourful walls, recreational activities, etc.
Usha Negi, chairperson, Uttarakhand Child Rights Protection Commission, reportedly said: “On these premises, children caught in petty crimes or other matters like child labour will be provided counselling. An environment has been created so that a child does not feel uncomfortable or has any kind of fear while interacting with the police.” The police personnel here will be in civilian attire and will counsel children for their rehabilitation, she added. Police officers will be required to attend training sessions in how to deal with children and provide counselling to them when needed.