(October 1 to 9, 2016)
LOK SAMVAD SANSTHAN
2 / 633, Jawahar Nagar
Jaipur – 302 004
The monitoring and scan of English and Hindi newspapers published from Jaipur, which was started in September 2016, continued in the first week of October 2016 with an expansion to cover regional editions of Hindi newspapers of Rajasthan. In addition to the news items of the State Capital and different parts of the State, the news items of national and international significance from New Delhi and other parts of the country were also scanned and analyzed. Thus, the daily scan activities comprised the monitoring of news items in Jaipur, State and National segments.
The whole exercise was taken up in an attempt to understand the trend of coverage of issues related to children and child rights as well as women's rights. A large number of stories appeared in the newspapers in the shape of hard news, features, data, articles, etc. The themes of stories ranged from child labour and child marriage to child abuse, violence against children, discrimination due to caste or economic status, abduction and trafficking of children, malnutrition, right to education, shelter homes, drop-outs from schools and crimes against women.
LIST OF NEWSPAPERS:
For the purpose of this study, the following English and Hindi newspapers published from Jaipur were selected and scanned for appearance of news and feature items:
- Hindustan Times
- The Times of India
- Rajasthan Patrika
- Dainik Bhaskar
- Dainik Navjyoti
- Daily News
INDICATORS FOR MONITORING OF NEWS:
The news and feature items were scanned in the newspapers to look for the coverage of topics such as child labour, child marriage, physical, emotional and sexual abuse of children, violence against children, trafficking of children, malnutrition, condition of shelter homes and orphanages, school drop-outs, facilities in schools, awareness on children's issues through organisations such as UNICEF, Save the Children, Action Aid, Plan India and voluntary groups, foetal sex selection and female foeticide, safe motherhood and violence and crimes against women. The specific topics searched in the news items were child abuse/rape/molestation and cases under POCSO Act, foeticide incidents, child protection, child education, child health and care, juvenile justice, child labour, child rescue, child psychology, child Laws, right to education, school fee, dropout from schools, child marriage, child rescue homes, child malnutrition, trafficking of children, shelter house/orphanage homes and charitable homes/cradle schemes, midday meals, corporal punishment, street children, newborn death/IMR, girl child death, Beti Bachao/Beti Padhao Abhiyan, abandoned/lost children, sex selection, Aganwadi centres, Janani Surksha Yojana, lack of toilets, women's empowerment and child pronography.
- The total number of stories covered in the monitoring and scan exercise for the Jaipur section during the first week of October 2016, counted from October 1 to 9, 2016, were 47. The clippings of these news and feature stories were collected and submitted on a daily basis, along with the daily scan report. The maximum number of news stories carried in newspapers during the week under study were on the educational matters and child labour issues, followed by various kinds of crimes against children and women.
- The news stories were comprehensive in terms of the subjects covered by them, but their presentation displayed a lack of perspective which could offer some viable solutions to the issues raised in them. For example, a news story reported on October 3, 2016 that four girls had died after drowning in a pond and mentioned that they had gone to nearby hills to collect wood. No attempt was made in the news story to raise a question why the girls had not gone to school and why they were forced to collect wood for livelihood or household consumption.
- Depicting an irony of sorts, an article discussed the reforms which match teaching with the students' learning level in order to make right grades in the classroom. On the same day, a news story reported how two children were treated with hot wire in Bhilware to cure them of pneumonia. Their health deteriorated by this so-called treatment. This offers a good comparison of innovations in education with the superstition still prevailing in the rural areas.
- The news story on a man forcing his children to beg at a red light crossing in Jaipur, who was arrested, showed the pathetic state to which some families are driven by poverty. The children of the age from six to eight years were send to Child Care Home.
- A news story reported that in response to “Muskan-2” drive, Superintendents of Police of various districts informed the Anti-Trafficking Cell that they were unable to find child labourers in their respective areas. Wherever the children in little numbers were found, they were rescued. Such a claim needs to be questioned, as it is highly unlikely that the police officers are unable to find child labourers.
- Showing yet another irony, a news report stated that 35 per cent of government schools in the country still remain without power supply, 69 years after Independence. Policy framers, on the other hand, are considering IT applications for power supply to schools. Reporters need to ask how the education level can be improved without the basic requirement of power supply to schools.
- Police WhatsApp helpline proves to be a boon for women in distress in Jaipur, according to a news story. Victims were quoted as giving information to police about stalkers harassing them. Similarly, a seminar was organized on emotional empowerment of women in Jaipur. Women were called upon by experts to come out of their small circles. Such reports increase confidence of women in the institutional systems in place in the society for their protection.
- A national survey has revealed that a greater number of boys are getting married at a younger age in comparison with girls. Rajasthan, with 27.5 per cent of such marriages, shows the worst situation, says a news story. This trend can be further analysed to find out why this is happening.
- Among the news stories published from different cities of Rajasthan, the news story on 11 juvenile delinquents escaping from a correction home in Sawai Madhopur after locking watchman in a room showed the boldness of children, while the report of notice issued to principal of Government Higher Secondary School in Vigyan Nagar, Kota, after garbage being found, was interesting.
- Dablana town in Bundi district remained closed with the demand for arrest of accused persons in a dowry death case. Schools students took out a rally. This news story showed the involvement of school children in a social cause, which is a positive sign and depicts the attachment of children with the society at large.
- Jodhpur Police Commissioner Ashok Rathore held public hearing for several police stations and heard complaints about inaction in crimes and women and children. The news story on this event rightly praised the initiative of the top police officer of the city.
- Inspection of two schools in Kaithoon town of Kota district by Deputy Director revealed that teachers were busy in talking and students were riding on bicycle during schools hours. Such news stories should be carried on front pages of newspapers to highlight the attitude of teachers who are not interested in doing their job.
- Two news stories on sexual abuse depicted a disturbing trend of women being exploited by the men of criminal mentality. In one case, a 14-year-old girl student was kept as hostage for one year and sexually assaulted in Pratapgarh. She escaped and reached home. In the second case reported from Jodhpur, a man sexually abused his fiancee for one year. When the girl's family members asked him to marry her, he demanded dowry from them, after which the matter was reported to the police and he was arrested. Such cases must be highlighted with the seriousness they deserve and the mindset of such persons must be exposed in order to alert other women in the society.
- In a significant ruling, the Supreme Court in New Delhi has ruled that a complaint of domestic violence can be made against women as well. The news story on the judgment rightly gave full background of the case and provided the legal rationale of the decision. Such news stories should highlight the role of both men and women in the cases of domestic violence.
- A news story from Patiala reported that some policemen were punished after 23 years in a case of “pickpocket” word tattooed on the forehead of a woman in Amritsar. The court rightly handed down severe punishment to the guilty policemen and news stories like this rightly highlight the sensitive aspect of women being targeted and victimized with the involvement of those in the law enforcement agencies.