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National Children Meet - June 2007

CHILDLINE 1098 SERVICE » 1098 Events » State Meet

State Children's Meet on 19th & 20th June'07
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"Children's Involvement in Childline"

Children's involvement in CHILDLINational Children Meet - June 2007NE has been critical since its inception. From conceptualizing the service, highlighting areas for intervention, being volunteers for the service, to giving feedback in monthly Open House Forums; children have constantly been a part of the course charted for CHILDLINE.

Over the last year, a series of consultative processes have been held with children, local administration and voluntary organizations at the city and national level. These Consultations have served to highlight issues children face in their homes, workplaces or in institutions they are placed in. The Consultations have also attempted to seek commitments and responses from the relevant government agencies. Follow-up action on the emerging issues is integrated into the ongoing advocacy mechanisms within CHILDLINE.


National Children Meet - June 2007 In order to take this initiative to scale and arrive at an understanding of what children across the state identify as priorities, that need to be addressed to make the state one that respects and promotes the fulfillment of the rights of the child, a State Children's Meet was organized. The outcomes of the State Meet would also help determine priorities for CHILDLINE's advocacy with the State Government, Maharashtra.

The State Children's Meet, organised by CHILDLINE India Foundation in co-ordination with the CHILDLINEs across Maharashtra , was held in Mumbai on 19 th and 20 th June 2007.National Children Meet - June 2007 This Meet was supported by PLAN International, India . Sixty children from nine CHILDLINE cities from across Maharashtra (Mumbai, Kalyan, Pune, Nasik , Nagpur , Amravati , Solapur, Ahmednagar, Aurangabad ) came together on one platform to present their concerns and grievances and also make recommendations to government representatives of the different departments.

Over these two days, children discussed issues in six major areas namely, Health, Housing, Child Labour, Education , Police and Railways. In the last phase of the second day, children made presentations through creative mediums such as skits, role-plays and songs on the issues identified followed by recommendations and solutions to address the same.

hildren representing issues related to the Education Department strongly recommended a ban on corporal punishment, education through well-organized and planned teaching curriculum and to have basic amenities in every school such as adequate toilets and benches in good condition.

 

With regard to the Railway Police , children wanted officials to be sensitive while dealing with children and National Children Meet - June 2007not resort to physical and verbal abuse of children. They expressed the need for services like shelters and non-formal education, at railway stations. They also requested that adults in general, who came in contact with them, should treat them with dignity and not demean or abuse them in any way.

Through skits and a song on Child Rights, children representing issues related to Housing & Public Sanitation , sought assistance with homes with clean surroundings and basic amenities such as clean water, electricity, toilets, good roads, play grounds. Regular clearance of garbage by the Municipal Corporation leading to unhygienic environment and risk of diseases and illness among children was a major issue shared by this group. Additionally, National Children Meet - June 2007this group also raised other issues, like the need for better quality of food and other developmental facilities to be provided in residential care institutions, both government and non-government..

With regard to Health , children expressed that government hospitals should provide them with nutritious food during hospitalisation, and free medical check-ups, free medicines, and proper service in government hospitals.

With regard to the City Police, they demanded, not to be abused, to try and understand their situation and background, to take cognisance of cases brought to the attention of the police, by children. It was also requested that a separate officer should be appointed at every police station, to deal sensitively with children's cases.

In their presentation to the Labour department, they put forth problems of child labourers informing that they faced severe physical, psychological, emotional, sexual and financial abuse from employers. They also highlighted the deprivation of educational facilities among these children. They demanded that no child under 18 should be employed in domestic households, in hotels/ dhabas, Zari Industries, garages etc.

Govt officials present at the meet were Mr. PrenjNational Children Meet - June 2007i Chauhan, Under Secretary, Department of Women and Child Development, Dr. Ramachandra T. Rathod, Special Inspector General of Police, Prevention of Atrocities against Women, Mr. V.S. Deshpande, Assistant Labour Commissioner, Maharashtra State, Dr. Suresh C. Gupta, Joint Director Hospitals, (Rural) and Mr. C.D. Batabyal, Assistant General Manager, MTNL, Mumbai . The officials made a note of the issues and committed to take cognisance of and address any issue that came to their immediate notice. They also appreciated the creativity and efforts of the children in planning and making the presentations.

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