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Delhi parents asked to supervise ‘Desh ke Mentor' phone calls amid safety concerns

India Today logo India Today 19-01-2022 India Today Web Desk

Keeping in mind the safety of the children, recently, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights' (NCPCR) issued a notice regarding the 'Desh ke Mentor' programme and sought suspension.

Following this, the Delhi government has advised that parents must supervise all the calls when the children talk to the concerned person through 'Desh ke mentor' programme.

The NCPCR issued a notice to the Delhi government and asked them to suspend the programme until "all the loopholes pertaining to the safety of the children are overhauled".

As per NCPCR, these phone calls might expose children to abuse by people designated as mentors to them. The NCPCR also raised concerns over the lack of police verification of the mentors and questioned the 'psychometric test' that applicants are supposed to take before being enrolled as mentors.

The circular issued by the NCPCR read, "To make the existing programme of mentoring more secure and safe for the children enrolled as mentees under 'Desh ke Mentor' program, all parents of such members are hereby advised to ensure the presence of any adult member of the family during the conversation between mentors and mentees, done time to time through App under 'Desh ke Mentor' programme."

What is 'Desh ke mentor' programme?

The 'Desh ke mentor' programme, which started in 2021, aimed at giving voluntary mentors to students in classes 9 to 12 in schools. The government assigns mentors between the ages of 18 and 35 to children on the app, which has been created by Delhi Technological University.

The mentorship entails regular phone calls for a minimum of two months. The programme aimed to guide children through their higher education and career options, preparation for entrance and more.

Recently, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia disclosed that 44,000 people have signed up as mentors so far out of which 500 are IIT graduates, 500 are IIM graduates, and 15,600 are studying.

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