State level workshop on ‘Encouraging family based care of children and prevention of child marriage’ held

Ranchi: Under the aegis of the Jharkhand State Child Protection Society and Child in Need Institute (Cini) a state-level workshop was organized on “Encouraging family-based care of children and prevention of child marriage”. During the workshop, under Mission Vatsalya in the state, discussions were held on encouraging family-based care of children and setting up such arrangements at the grassroots level so that unnecessary separation of children from their families can be prevented.

Children who are living in childcare institutions due to any reason they can also be rehabilitated in their family or alternative family as soon as possible. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 clearly mentions “Child Care Institution as the last resort”. The panel discussion held during the workshop discussed various aspects of non-institutional family-based care and highlighted the need for mutual coordination and concerted efforts of various stakeholders in ensuring the same.

During the workshop, the state government took the initiative to formulate a state-wide strategy to ensure uniformity in the implementation of family-based non-institutional care under Mission Vatsalya for which it was decided to form a state-level working group. In the second phase of the workshop, another important issue related to the violation of children’s rights in the state, “Child Marriage”, was discussed.

Describing child marriage as a serious problem in the state she said to give shape to the action plan for its prevention in coordination with various stakeholders at the departmental level. Recognizing the importance of education in the prevention of child marriage, it was also considered to reduce the chances of school dropout by ensuring children’s association with education. During various research, it has been found that due to the continuation of education, children, especially girls,

The possibility of child marriage becomes weak. At the same time, it is also effective in protecting them from various forms of exploitation, violence and discrimination. Work continues with sensitivity towards child protection at every level – Rajeshwari B The chief guest in the program, Rajeshwari said in her address that it is the responsibility of all of us to protect the children. 

The future of tomorrow’s children depends on the protection of today, further, she said that child marriage is a matter of concern in the state of Jharkhand as it gives rise to many other problems as well. It undermines adolescent girls’ education, compromises their health, exposes them to violence and traps them in poverty, reducing their possibilities and potential. 

Child marriages also experience violence, abuse and exploitation. The State has a “State Action Plan to End Child Marriage” which advocates multi-pronged strategies and a collaborative approach to address causative factors and ensure law enforcement. The plan envisages enhanced responsibilities on the local administration to take appropriate action at their level to address the issue. The plan includes empowering young girls and boys with knowledge and access to schemes and programmes. It also includes strengthening child protection structures and developing skills.

Along with this, the children of the district will be linked to the social security schemes run by the government through the promotion programme. This will determine that no child from the district is a victim of child trafficking and child labor, rather he can take advantage of all the schemes of the government smoothly. 

She said that the district administration is providing cooperation from its level in mapping all the children living in difficult situations in the district so that the government can move towards a new district and prepare a strong shield for child protection.

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