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NCPCR unhappy with TV reality shows
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<img style="float:left; margin: 0px 10px 0px 0px;" src="http://www.tvnext.in/tpllib/img.php?im=cat_159/2639.jpg&w=171&h=150"/>After 11-year-old Neha Sawant committed suicide allegedly over her parents disallowing her from participating in a reality show, the need for an age limit for children to enter TV shows has been raised again. While the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) recommended age bar about a year ago, no decision has yet been taken.

The NCPCR recommended that children below 16 years of age should not be allowed on reality TV shows, but the recommendation is still under the process.

"Nothing is fixed about the age issue yet," Sandhya Bajaj, member of NCPCR, told IANS.

"We are getting various experts to give their opinion on the right age. Some people say that children below 16 should be allowed, but some say that barring children below eight years of age would do us no good. So, we are contemplating that 10-12 years should be a good age when we can allow children to take part in reality shows," she added.

Though Bajaj did not wish to link Sawant's case with the recommendations, she stressed that the organisation is trying to gather feedback over the guidelines from school principals, teachers and psychologists.

"I can't comment on Neha's case because we don't have the details about the case yet. It is not even confirmed whether the child took the step because of being denied permission to take part in reality shows or not. But yes, we are trying to gather inputs from a lot of people regarding the right guidelines for children's involvement in TV shows," she said.

"Apart from the fact that there should be an age constraint, I feel it is very essential for all TV shows to have psychologists and counsellors on the sets itself to counsel a defeated child then and there. The child then begins to understand that he will always have another chance, otherwise he or she starts feeling dejected," added Bajaj.

The NCPCR is hoping to receive feedbacks by Feb this year and present it to the ministry of Information and Broadcasting as soon as possible.

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