The Kerala State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights has ordered that steps be taken to include swimming training in the school curriculum and to provide all pupils with swimming lessons.
Acting at the request of Amal Shaji, State Ambassador for the Rakshak Project, K. Nazeer, member of the Children’s Rights Committee, gave instructions to the General Secretary of Education and the Director of Education general.
The commission said homeowners should ensure ponds and pools on private property were safe by walling or fencing them. He instructed the local self-government secretary, the director of urban affairs and the director of the Panchayat to give instructions to the local self-government institutions to ensure that private owners followed the instructions.
“Put up signage”
The Secretary of Revenue has been instructed to take action to fill unused public wells on revenue lands and build protective walls for other public wells. Ponds or other bodies of water on public land must be fenced or hazard warning signs posted. Similar instructions have also been issued to the authorities of the Department of Local Self-Government regarding public wells and ponds under their jurisdiction.
Swimming pools and water collection devices on the premises of the house must be fenced to ensure the safety of children. Local self-government institutions should make sure of this before approving the final plan, the commission said. Provisions on this should be incorporated in the Kerala Municipal Building Regulations and Kerala Panchayat Building Regulations 2019 or Ordinances, he said.
In her petition, Amal Shaji said cases of children losing their lives or being involved in accidents in bodies of water such as ponds, swimming pools, rivers and wells were on the rise. Guidelines should be issued to prevent such incidents.
The Director of Urban Affairs, in a report to the commission, said developing guidelines would help prevent the loss of children’s lives in rivers and other bodies of water. In addition to adopting safety measures such as fences or water features and putting up warning signs, including swimming lessons for children in the program would help reduce the rate of such accidents. .