Mizoram plans to take children to school

Kolkata, India - A government agency set up to look after child welfare in Mizoram has warned that it would take away children from a particular sect if their parents continue to deny them education following their religious belief.

The Mizoram Child Welfare Committee (CWC) said it would take away 14 children, all under 14 years of age, of nearby Melriat village if their parents deprived them their rights to education.

A religious sect led by one Lalliani, who acted as its high priestess, refused to enroll their children in schools due to their religious belief that they should not have anything to do with government or any organisation.

Mizoram, with a high literacy rate of 88.49 per cent, is next only to Kerala among all the states of the country.

"We will go to Melriat village on Sunday next. We have already notified the Kulikawn Police Station, village council president of Melriat and district project coordinator of the Aizawl district Sarva Siksha Abhyan (SSA)," said Lalengruali Sailo, chairperson of the CWC.

Formed under the Juvenile Justice (care and protection) Act 2000, the CWC is the highest authority in the state for child welfare.

Sailo also said two children's homes were alerted so that they could accommodate the 14 children if the need arose. The 14 children would be taken to some places where they could pursue education, she said.

The religious sect had been repeatedly warned by SSA authorities and magistrates that they must discontinue the practice of denying the fundamental right of their children to have education.