Delhi parents were asked to supervise ‘Desh ke Mentor’ phone calls due to security concerns

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The Department of Education has advised parents to supervise all calls when their children talk to the relevant person through the “Desh ke mentor” program.

The National Commission for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (NCPCR) has issued a notice regarding the safety issues related to the program. (Photo: Desh ke Mentor website)

Keeping children’s safety in mind, recently, the National Commission for the Protection of Children’s Rights (NCPCR) issued a notice regarding the “Desh ke Mentor” program and called for its suspension.

Following this, the Delhi government advised parents to supervise all calls when children talk to the relevant person through the ‘Desh ke mentor’ scheme.

The NCPCR issued a notice to the Delhi government and asked it to suspend the program until “all deficiencies relating to child safety are rectified”.

According to the NCPCR, these phone calls could expose children to abuse from people designated as mentors for them. The NCPCR also expressed concern about the lack of police verification of mentors and questioned the “psychometric test” applicants are supposed to take before being registered as mentors.

The circular issued by the NCPCR read, “To make the existing mentoring program safer and more secure for children enrolled as mentees under the ‘Desh ke Mentor’ program, all parents of such members are advised to s ensure the presence of any adult member of the family during the conversation between mentors and mentees, carried out from time to time via the application within the framework of the “Desh ke Mentor” program.

What is the “Desh ke mentor” program?

The “Desh ke mentor” program, which started in 2021, aimed to give voluntary mentors to students in grades 9 to 12 in schools. The government assigns mentors aged 18 to 35 to children on the app, which was created by Delhi Technological University.

Mentoring involves regular phone calls for at least two months. The program aimed to guide children through their higher education and career options, preparation for entry and more.

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

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