A state level NGO and Civil society consultative process on National policy for children 1974, reaffirming recognition, renewing commitment for review and recommendation 2010, was held on Monday at Holy Cross Church hall, Dimapur.
Peace Channel director Rev. Fr. C.P. Anto in his keynote address laid out objectives of the consultation and stressed on the importance of the initiative to examine and assess the policy, and to formulate recommendations which will reaffirm country’s recognition and acceptance of helping the children across the country.
Stating that even after 36 years, the policy for children was not used well for the benefit and security of children and affirmed that peace education and children’s right should be encouraged and made mandatory to empower the children. The recommendations drawn from the consultation will be presented at National Level Consultation to be held at Delhi, soon.
The chief guest Rev. Fr. Mathew John, Secretary of Education Commission Diocese of Kohima in his message lamented that child right situation in the state was pitiful. He encouraged the NGO’s and civil society leaders to learn from the models, existing in the world. Naga Women Hoho president Hukheli Wotsa, the guest of honor in her message urged the NGO’s to play an active role in the promotion of children’s right.
The consultation through group discussions and sharing reviewed the policy paper and come up with several recommendations to address specific child rights issues for Nagaland and for effective implementation of the policy. Recommendations included urgent constitution of State Child Rights Board with representation of boy and girl child, to ensure trained teachers on job in all government village schools, to ensure publicity on free and compulsory education for all children up to the age of 14, to ensure and create health facilities including inpatient and first-aid, to ensure mid-day meals in all remote village schools on day to day basis and adoption of child-centered teaching methodologies.
There were over 40 persons including 21 women representing civil society organizations including Naga women Hoho, Churches, schools, NGOs working for child welfare including Prodigals home, Transformation Resource Center, FVTRS, Childrens Home, DAN, Guardian Angel, ACID and CAD Foundation participated in the consultation.
Peace Channel, a Youth Peace movement, an initiative of Diocese of Kohima organized the consultation with supports from Catholic Relief Service (CRS).
The consultation began with invocation prayer by Rev. Fr. Chacko, Parish Priest Holy Cross Church. The detail of National Policy on Child Right 1974 was presented by Ella Director Prodigals Home and group discussions were facilitated by Fr Chacko.