03:39 GMT03 March 2021
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    The agreement was reached after the country’s regulatory body for child protection, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and one of the Indian border area forces, Sashastra Seema Bal concluded talks on the issue recently.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — Orphans and homeless children in shelter homes will be adopted by Indian security forces and trained as they grow up to serve on the border.

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    Experts in child protection and care in India, however, say the decision to join the paramilitary force should be an informed decision of the child and it should not be thrust upon them as mandatory.

    As per the agreement, the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) will train the young children presently living in child care institutions and train them for the induction process in its ranks before being sent to protect the borders. The Force will train the kids in a community-centric manner. SSB operates in the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders.

    Presently, as per government data, there are more than 9,000 child institutions in India and the government has been constrained with space for accommodating the increasing number of homeless children.

    Experts, however, caution that any such move should foremost consider the interest of the child.

    "The interest and consent of the child must be sought. It should be an informed decision of the child to pursue a career. Every child has his or her own instincts and interests and that must not be ignored," Rita Panicker, Director of Butterfly NGO, one of the foremost agencies in Child Protection in India told Sputnik.

    "Along with the choice of joining the forces, the grown-up child should also have the right the quit the services without hassle," she added.


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