Raipur : TWO-DAY NATIONAL CONSULTATION ON ‘INNOVATING FOR CHILDREN’ COMMENCES TODAY
Chhattisgarh Government is working rigorously towards rehabilitation of children from LWE-hit areas and developing inclusive policies to facilitate every amenity to them: Mr. Vivek Dhand
Providing healthy and secured environment to children today is necessary, for they are the future of Nation: Mrs. Ramsheela Sahu
Increasing risk and vulnerability of children is alarming, calling for effective consolidated efforts to solve child issues across the Nation: Mr. Ajay Tirkey
Raipur, 21 September 2017
Department of Women and Child Development, Government of Chhattisgarh, in association with UNICEF Chhattisgarh and State Planning Commission of Chhattisgarh, have organized a two-day consultation on ‘Innovating for Children’ at hotel Courtyard Marriott today. First day of the consultation was marked with in depth discussion on topics such as Child Survival, Child Development and Child Protection.
Following the formal inauguration with lamp-lighting at hands of dignitaries, the welcome address was presented by Dr M Geetha, Secretary of Women and Child Development Department. She threw light on the objectives and importance of this consultation. “The aim of this consultation is to explore and showcase innovative ideas, solutions for the well-being of children and initiate dialogue towards enhancing access to children’s entitlements particularly in health, nutrition, education, child protection, water, sanitation, skills and early childhood development” she commented.
While speaking to the esteemed gathering, Chief Secretary of Chhattisgarh, Mr. Vivek Dhand expressed that Chhattisgarh Government has taken several initiatives and measures for child welfare, development and rehabilitation. The very recent award bagged by the state for being the Best Performing State for Substantial Reduction in Stunting awarded at the National Conference on Mission Mode to Address under-nutrition is the proof of it. Further he drew focus on the other enterprising initiatives like ‘Asha’, ‘Mitanin’ and the PDS model launched by the state that has went on to garner widespread appreciation and set example for others. “The government of Chhattisgarh is also working rigorously towards rehabilitating the children from the insurgency hit areas and is developing inclusive policies to facilitate every amenity to them. The state government had arranged for porta cabins for a massive number of 23,000 thousand children from LWE violence affected areas. Notably, 23 students studying at the Prayas School run by the government have been selected for the prestigious institutes like, NIT and IIT. Further, Chhattisgarh Government has developed Education City in naxal affected Dantewada, where 4000 children avail academic facilities from primary to higher education in one campus. Community led total sanitation is adjudged as one of the best in the country. We have also won award for the Shuchita Scheme for installing Sanitary Napkin Vending Machines in Schools. All these initiatives directly benefit specially girl child,’ stated Mr. Dhand.
Women and Child Development Minister, Mrs. Ramsheela Sahu said in his address as Chief Guest that providing a healthy and secured environment to children is necessary, for they are the future of Nation. Chhattisgarh Government’s Women and Child Development Department has made consistent efforts for overall well being of children in state. It is due to these efforts the malnutrition level has declined from 52% to 30%. Schemes like ‘Mahtari Jatan Yojana’, ‘Noni Suraksha Yojana’, ‘Sakhi One Stop Center’ are some of the schemes that ensure the nutritional and social security women and children.
Mr. Ajay Tirkey, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, in his keynote address during the inaugural session, quoted numerous statistics related to children to put their issues into correct perspective. He said that there are nearly 47 crore children in India, and studies reveal that 69% of the children have suffered physical abuse, 53% have encountered sexual abuse and 48% of the children have gone through emotional abuse. Strikingly, in 60% of the abuse cases, the perpetrator was a person known to the child. 80% of the child abuse cases are not reported. Every second child in the country is suffering from emotional abuse, and 48% of girl children wished they were boys. He referred this data as disturbing and called for effective and consolidated action for well being of children across the nation. He said that children are vulnerable pertaining to the risks to their right to survival, development, protection and participation. The need to protect some children is even more challenging, where the socio-economic and political circumstances are difficult to cope. Mr. Tirkey also talked about various innovative health practices underway in different parts of the country. He lauded Chhattisgarh Government for adopting the most innovative approach towards over-all well-being of children. ‘Asha’ is the product of Chhattisgarh, which is nationally acclaimed and adopted for ensuring healthcare of pregnant mothers and infants. The innovative ‘Mitanin’ model, which builds knowledge and capacities of village women, for addressing first level of community healthcare, has evolved at present into a voluntary workforce of 60,000 village women, covering all of 54,000 hamlets catering to rural healthcare needs, which is commendable, opined Mr. Tirkey. He also talked about the initiatives and childcare practices which have halved the IMR, and also the ICDS leadership program for the midlevel functionaries of DWCD, which has changed the face of Anganbadi centres he said.
Inaugural session was also addressed by Ms Henriette Ahrens, Deputy Representative, UNICEF India. In her address, Ms. Ahrens said that Government of India in the National Plan of Action (2015) following the National Policy for Children in 2013 aims to keep children safe and ensure happy childhood. The action plan aims to further strengthen implementation of policies for children and uphold constitutional obligation and UN Convention on Rights of Children. The action plan is aligned with Sustainable Development Goals which aims to end preventable deaths, hunger, ensure children’s access to nutrition, promote learning and ensure children live without fear of violence, and UNICEF aims to empower these initiatives of government for betterment of children. She further said that as Governments are elaborating on SDGs and targets for the new development agenda, innovation and the role of partnerships across sectors are increasingly important to accelerate progress on the most pressing issues especially related to children. In adapting to the complexity of the 21st century, the state needs dynamic solutions to ensure it remains relevant and responsive. ‘Leaving No Child Behind’ is both a moral imperative and strategic priority for development of inclusive, sustainable and stable societies.
Guest of Honour, Chairperson NCPCR Delhi Ms Stuti Kacker in her address emphasized on importance of human resources for progress of any country. She congratulated Chhattisgarh Government for organizing the event. She underlined that people need to understand the concept of ‘rights’. There are 20 Acts for children rights but still the serious issues and concerns regarding child protection and child well-being continue to exist in the country. She lauded Chhattisgarh for being the better performing state in terms of improved sex-ratio, prevention of child marriage, declining IMR-MMR, in comparison to other states of the country. She threw light on the activities and initiatives of NCPCR, which includes development of tools for effective implementation of childcare schemes, and prevention of cyber crime against children.
On the occasion in the esteemed presence of dignitaries, book named ‘Pahal’ was released. This book contains detailed information about parenting and child’s mental health. A mobile app was also launched using which children may report their complaints and seek help. An audio/visual named ‘Voice of Children’ was also screened in which children from rural areas were featured communicating their basic needs. Further, an adoption guidebook for service providers was also released. Vote of Thanks was proposed by Mr. PP Sotti. In this National Consultation, Chhattisgarh Cooperative Election Commissioner Mr. DS Mishra, Principal Secretary Health Department Govt of Chhattisgarh Mr. Subhrat Sahu, Mr. Ajay Tirkey, Chief of Health UNICEF India Mr. Yaron Wolman were the panelists for the first session ‘Child Survival’, Special Secretary Social Welfare Department Govt of Jammu-Kashmir Ms Rifat Ali, President of National Institute of Ecology New Delhi and Member State Planning Commission of Chhattisgarh Prof DK Marothiya, Dr Mridula Bajaj of Child Development Department, Lady Irwin College New Delhi were the panelists for second session of day one of the consultation on ‘Child Development’, and Ms Stuti Kacker, Mr. Ajay Tirkey, Chief of Field Services UNICEF India Mr. Foroogh Foyouzat, Chief Child Protection UNICEF Inida Mr. Aguilar Javier, Senior Advocate of Supreme Court Mr. Ravi Kant and Ms Enakshi Ganguly, HAQ Centre for Child Rights were the panelists for the last session of day one. Representatives of NGOs, Ideators and Innovators from different states of the country presented their ideas, initiatives and impact in form of presentations, during the sessions.