New Delhi, Oct 7

Nobel Peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi's "Bharat Yatra", which is in its final leg, has attracted influential people including chief ministers to take a pledge to make India a safer place for children.

The Yatra -- part of a three-year campaign against child rape and child sexual abuse -- is aimed at increasing awareness about crimes against children and reporting of the cases.

It also aims at strengthening institutional response, including medical health and compensation, ensuring protection for victims and witnesses during trials, and increasing convictions in child sexual abuse cases in a time-bound manner.

Joining the campaign, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan emphasised the need to award death penalty to the perpetrators of sexual abuse on children.

According to a statement issued by Satyarthi's office, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has announced that the state would house a first of its kind global policy institute dedicated to formulating an environment conducive for the protection of children of the country.

"Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan lent his support for the Bharat Yatra and encouraged all his fans also to do the same.

"Bhagwanth Khumba, a Member of Parliament from Bidar, also declared that he would put forward a proposal to dedicate a day in the Parliament...to the discussion of the rights of children and how best to look after their safety, security and well-being," said the statement.

The Yatra rolled out from Kanyakumari on September 11.

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