Bhubaneshwar, 08/07/2016 ( Odisha Samachar )- : India constitutes 39 percent of the children population (Census 2011). The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of 2030 sets forth 17 sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets directly and indirectly seeking to safeguard and protect the rights of these all children but particularly those most vulnerable. This is further reassured in Government of India’s draft National Plan of Action for Children 2016 which recognizes the country’s commitment to safeguard and protect the rights of the children.
In this context, the Children in Difficult Circumstances (CIDC) are the prime focus and needs attention. The spectrum of CIDC ranges from children victims of child rights violation as well as children deprived of their basic survival, health, education and protection needs.
Plan India in collaboration with CINI, CYSD, Orissa Alliance of Child Rights, PECUC and CLAP organised a state level consultation on the CIDC children putting the last children first and documenting the emerging innovative practices in the state. This consultation is a part of the phased process for an upcoming Regional consultation and the National Consultation scheduled to be organised this year. There will be a national dialogue process for strengthening advocacy and alliance building by Plan India. Child participation is also imperative in this process.
A welcome address was given by PK Sahoo, Chairman CYSD, who focused on concerted effort with the Government and on providing facilities of education, health, child protection, child survival, child development and child participation and thus creating a child labour free villages. He emphasised that there is a need of deep commitment and collective action with civil society and government to find pathways of work for future. A special focus on tribal areas and tribal children.
Dr. Sneha Siddham, Senior Program Manager, Plan India gave her perspective that India being a signatory to the UNCRC has committed that the last child should come first and all the entitlements of the children are met. A child centered approach is the need of the hour and this will provide a platform for sharing best practices at the state, national and regional level and documenting the emerging innovative practices at all levels.
Rajib K. Haldar, Director – Program Development and Child Protection, CINI focussed that there needs to be a discussion in defining the strategies, programmes and challenges on the issues of CIDC. A synergic action among the small and big organisations is required and children led participatory process is required.
Kasturi Mohapatra, Chairperson, OSCPCR highlighted that despite many laws and legislations child rights are not being addressed appropriately. There is a need for attitudinal change and resource allocation needs to be done appropriately. The focus should be on the best interest of the child.
Parfulla Kumar Mallik, Hon’able Steel & Mines, Labour & ESI Minister gave his keynote address. He emphasised on the need of hostels from class I to ensure that there is continued education and there is a need of skill based education for children and to create opportunities for education, skill development from early age which prevents children from joining naxals. There is a need to create opportunities for children which address their aspirations. Labour department is doing survey of number of child labourers, education department doing survey of drop outs (majority are child labourers). A strong co-ordination among different departments is required, he said.
Jagadananda Mishra, Former State Information Commissioner laid stress on the rights of UNCRC like Survival, Protection, Development and Participation. He highlighted the 5 point strategy in which the data and statistics on Child protection is required, the emerging innovative practices needs to be documented and the children voices needs to be heard and there is a need of multi sectoral engagement of Government and other NGOs and there is a need of robust monitoring mechanism required.
Tushar Kanti Dash, State Manager, Plan India highlighted the need to reach to the most vulnerable section of children whose basic needs for food, shelter, education, medical care or protection, discrimination and security are not met. He shared the upcoming regional and the national conference scheduled to happen in 2016.
Ambika Nanda, Head CSR, Tata Steel emphasized the need to work with trade unions and engage with them. There are good practices of Tata Steel such as model school programme, moral rearmament training for youth, education scholarships for marginalised children.
Plan India, a member of Plan International Federation, is a nationally registered independent child development organisation committed to creating a lasting impact in the lives of vulnerable and excluded children, their families and communities. Working since 1979, Plan India and its partners have improved the lives of millions of children by providing them access to protection, basic education, proper healthcare, a healthy environment, livelihood opportunities and participation in decisions which affect their lives.