New Delhi, Sep 16: Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi have proposed that a child separated from jailed mother must be made to visit her in prison at least thrice a week, amid incidents of such children getting trafficked.
The Women and Child Development Ministry have written to the Home Ministry to include a clause in the prison manual under which children are made to visit the mother thrice a week so that she does not lose touch with them, a senior ministry official has said.
"When a child is born in prison, the mother raises his/her there till five years of age and suddenly after five years of age, the child is separated from the mother. We found that half of the mothers whose children have been separated don't know the whereabouts of their children. Many of them get trafficked," Gandhi said.
"We are planning to add a clause under prison manual if a child is taken away then she/he has to be presented to see his/her mother thrice a week and the child should not be allowed to leave the district," she said.
The proposal comes amid reports of mothers unable to locate their child after leaving prison, the senior ministry official said. "After a child is taken away from the mother, the child goes to a shelter home and the shelter home gets disconnected from the prison, as a result, the mother loses contact with the child," the official said.
So the minister has said that there should be a system under which there is a regular interaction with the mother and for that the WCD Ministry has approached the Home Ministry, he added.
Sumaira Kumar, a child rights activist, said it is a very good move to keep the child in touch with the mother lodged in prison if it could get implemented. "There have been several such cases where the child has lost touch with the mother in prison. If such a decision is taken then it would be a blessing for the mother and the child but strict implementation has to be followed," Kumar added.