Gangtok, Jan 4 (IPR)
District Collector East Kapil Meena chaired a meeting of the Childline Advisory Board in his chamber on Thursday. The meeting was convened to took stock of the activities being carried out by the Childline Collab Centre and Sub Centres under the two NGOs namely YODESS and ASHI, in coordination with concerned Departments of the State Government.
The meeting began with welcome address by M.B. Gurung, President YODESS, an NGO based in Rongli East Sikkim working actively in the field of child protection and care for several years. He gave a brief background of the activities carried out by the two sub centres in Rangpo and Rongli and also placed some of the issues faced by these Centres. The Coordinators of these two sub-centres also highlighted some of their activities and achievements.
DC East Kapil Meena emphasized on raising awareness about the national Childline number 1098 especially among school students. He suggested that school principals and teachers could carry out surveys to gauze the level of awareness. He added that this exercise could be made mandatory by the HRDD. He further stated that apart from 1098 child line number, adequate information should be raised about other response bodies such as the police and the District Child Protection Unit.
The District Collector further emphasized on the need to appoint a nodal teacher each in all schools specifically for issues related to child protection. The teacher would also be trained to counsel the students from time to time. The teacher could also act as the point person to coordinate with Childline for regular counselling and interventions in the school. He further called for multipronged approach to ensure that children staying in child protection homes are rehabilitated and are brought to normalcy.
The meeting discussed in detail the responsibilities of each concerned Department and deliberated on some pending issues. It was decided that Child Line officers and coordinators will continue to organizing awareness programs in Government Schools in coordination with the nodal teacher. It was decided that the permission to the NGOs to intervene in schools will be renewed once a year as has been the usual practice. Further, it was decided that the Childline logo and Komal Short Film will be uploaded in the official websites of HRDD, IPR and IT Department websites. Further, it was decided that social media would be used extensively to raise adequate awareness about Child Line.
During the meeting, Police Department was requested to provide an escort and a vehicle to assist the Child line workers during rescue. Likewise, the Department of Social Justice would be approached to work out provision for a child-friendly room in all police stations.
It was also decided during the meeting that Childline would be made a member of the Sponsorship and Foster Care Approval Committee.
The meeting had the presence and participation of officers of concerned Departments, ADC East, and members of Childline and ASHI.