For the first time the event saw such a culmination of luminaries from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana and Kerala.
Issues pertaining to education for all children without any discrimination, taking stronger accounts of missing children and ensuring better hygiene and sanitation were some of the points that saw consensus. Also, fortifying Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and better implementation of the Public Distribution system and Mid-Day Meal system were simultaneously brought under focus which comprised of some of the main state mandates from southern region of India. A proactive approach to address malnutrition with a special focus on children from disadvantaged sections of the society is required is the need of the hour.
In the review process, members showed concern about the recent status on the Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey. The fact that 5 percent of India children are overweight and 35 percent of them being stunted shows the urgent requirement in re-assessing the nutritional policy for children. Also, the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB 2017) data reflects that in the last 5 years, crime rates against children have increased by 200 percent, making policy mandates on protection another important area of concern among the representatives.
The objective of the consultation was to undertake a multi-stakeholder’s review through a consultative process with the various representatives from the system and the civil society. Similar process will be undertaken across all regions of the country and the collated version will be sent to the policy makers and influencers.
These consultations looked at having a diverse range of inputs from practitioners, academicians, experts, representatives from government and quasi bodies, to name a few, Health & Nutrition, Education & Development, Protection and Participation encompassed the review.
The criticality of NPC 2013 lies in the fact that it is holistic in nature as it addresses all the rights of children. It is imperative that all the stakeholders responsible for children, Government officials, and representatives from civil society, commissions come together and act together with accountability. The inputs from all the state SCPCR’s and representatives from various sectors not only helped in identify the gaps better but brought about the need of a cohesive action plan with an unitary motive to better protect child rights,” said Puja Marwaha, CEO, CRY.
“We need to strive towards ensuring that there is 100 percent enrolment and zero percent drop outs in children. The review must take into account that education not only empowers but also provides a safe and secured environment for children. The policy updates must be in accordance to that. Also the fact that there is lot of ambiguity in cases of missing children needs to be addresses that brings in more accountability and streamlines the process,” said Dr. Anthony Sebastian, Chairperson, Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
CRY: Child Rights and You is an Indian NGO that believes in every child’s right to a childhood - to live, learn, grow and play. For 4 decades, CRY and its 850 initiatives have worked with parents and communities to ensure Lasting Change in the lives of more than 2,000,000 underprivileged children, across 23 states in India.