KSLSA Asked To Conduct Detailed Survey on Children Selling Toys and Flowers on Roadside: Karnataka High Court

Indian Constitution extends the Right to Education to every citizen. Every child has the right to be educated, but sadly this remains a mere guarantee and not a reality. There are children who we see on the roads every day, begging from a very young age for survival.

Facts

Children selling toys and flowers at the traffic signals is a common sight in the city of Bangalore. These children are as young as 5 years old. A PIL was filed by an organisation Letzkit Foundation which is based in the city. Karnataka High Court taking into cognisance this matter decided to hold a special hearing.

Arguments

The Secretary of Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KSLSA) had submitted a report. The report detailed the training undertaken by the Data Collection Team (DCT) which included classes on how to counsel and approach these children and parents. The DCT consisted of law students, paralegal staff and advocates. The KSLSA also added that a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) had been prepared for conducting the survey. The secretary further added that there would be one more training session that the team would have to undergo before starting the survey.  The Court had initially ordered data collection on 18th November 2020 for which the BBMP and the State Government had not yet responded.

Order

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The Court asked the KSLSA to conduct a detailed survey. The Court noted that a detailed survey was required to discern the problem completely. The survey is to be completed before February 18th. The main aim is to identify vulnerable children in the streets who are forced to engage in this. The Division Bench composed of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum has also asked KSLSA to prepare a list of the stakeholders. This is was with the intent of addressing the KSLSA’s demand of participation of all stakeholders as conducting a survey otherwise would be very difficult.  The Court held that

“To ensure that the work of the survey is done effectively it is necessary to procure the presence of all the stakeholders whose assistance is required. A list of officers shall be furnished by the member secretary (of KSLSA) to the Additional Government Advocate and the counsel representing the BBMP.” The Court stated that “We hope and trust that all stakeholders will rise to the occasion and in turn offer assistance in a maximum possible manner.”


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