Chennai: The Madras High Court has directed Tamil Nadu government to consider creating trained full-time counsellors in schools as a long-time measure.
The first bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice R Mahadevan, said closing a PIL: "The suggestion of the petitioner that each school should have a child counsellor, though desirable, possibly is not feasible at the moment because of lack of sufficient number of qualified persons."
Petitioner E Ranganayaki, an advocate, prayed for a direction to the Union and state governments to have trained and professional full-time counsellors experienced in child psychology in schools.
"We consider it appropriate to put to the Additional Advocate General PH Arvind Pandian that the creation of requisite trained personnel should be a long-term measure by creating sufficient seats in educational institutions for the subject, especially as there is potential of employability," the court said.
If the petitioner had any grievance over the matter, she could approach the Tamil Nadu Commission for Protection of Child Rights as well, the court said.
The petitioner underscored the need for such counsellors to address childrens' needs. Among other things, she highlighted that sexual abuse could have serious short- and long-term problems for a child.
"Many of these children have never told anyone about what happened to them," the petitioner submitted in her plea.
She pointed out that children could learn about sexual abuse, adolescence, puberty and personal safety from such counsellors.