Tuesday, June 22, 2010


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 21st June 2010, at Holy Cross Church Hall, Dimapur. Rev. Fr. C.P. Anto, the director, Peace Channel in his keynote address welcomed the participants and while lying out the objectives of the consultation informed that this is an important national initiative to examine and assess a landmark policy, and to formulate recommendations which will reaffirm country’s recognition and acceptance of what it must do for all children in the Nation. The Policy for Children has stood the test of time in its basic principles and provisions over the 36 years since it was adopted. Sadly, the Indian State has not used it well enough for the benefit and security of children. He also affirmed that peace education and children’s right should be encouraged and made mandatory to empower the children to be the best citizens. The recommendations drawn from the consultation will be presented at National Level Consultation to be held at Delhi, soon.

Rev. Fr. Mathew John, Secretary of Education Commission Diocese of Kohima was the chief guest. In his message he said that child right situation in the state is pitiful, citing the cases of child discrimination and narrating his exposure to various countries in the world, he encouraged the NGOS’and civil society leaders to learn from the models, existing in the world. Mrs. Hukheli Watsa, President Naga Women Hoho was the guest of honor. In her message she appreciated t he Policy and wished the NGO’s to play an active role in the promotion of childrens right. The consultation through group discussions and sharing reviewed the policy paper and come up several recommendations to address specific child rights issues in Nagaland context and for effective implementation of the policy in true spirits. Recommendations included urgent constitution of State Child Rights Board with representation of boy and girl child; ensure trained teachers on job in all Govt village schools, ensure publicity on free and compulsory education for all children up to the age of 14, ensure and create health facilities including inpatient and first-aid, 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; like Naga women Hoho, Churches, Schools, NGOs working for child welfare like; Prodigal home, Transformation Resource Center, FVTRS, Children Home, DAN, Guardian Angel, ACID and CAD Foundation, etc actively 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 Ms. Ella Director Prodigals Home and group discussions were facilitated by Fr Chacko.

Report by:
Peace Channel Desk

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