Report by OD bureau; Bhubaneswar: ‘Children are the future of the nation and they must avail all the basic rights of survival, protection, development and participation. Government is determined to provide all scope for children for their holistic development and an environment for them which is free from discrimination and fear’ said Saraswati Hembram, Chairperson for Odisha State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Government of Odisha. She was addressing at the inaugural function of a two day Capacity Building of State Level Children’s Alliance on Monitoring and Reporting of Child Development Programmes at CYSD, Bhubaneswar organized by Save the Children.
Save the Children and its local partners are implementing a project called ‘Children Alliance for Realization of Child Rights’ in Puri, Boudh, Kalahandi and Nuapada districts of Odisha towards ensuring full and meaningful participation of children in planning, implementation and monitoring of child development programmes and be directly represented in local, state and national decision-making and follow up processes.
Speaking on the occasion, eminent poet and writer of child centric literature Dash Benhur said that ‘no other than children can say truth in any given condition. Children should be empowered to monitor the process of social development and government sponsored child centered schemes, so that a significant and transparent monitoring system is developed. Their observations and right based creative thoughts should also be highlighted through mainstream media for mass awareness generation and this can be an eye opener for adults’.
30 children leaders from ten project districts of Save the Children – Boudh, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Kendrapada, Khurda, Keonjhar, Koraput, Nuapada, Puri and Subarnapur have participated in this two day programme. The purpose of the State Children’s Alliance is to work collectively to identify, advocate and act upon real solutions for the challenges and barriers faced by the children in their day to day life. The programme is designed to offer the State Children’s Alliance members the increased understanding on their role and responsibility, on various legal instruments and treaties, articulating children specific needs and to chalk out a key advocacy agenda and action plan.
‘We are promoting a model of child led monitoring practices to improve children’s access to their basic rights in quality education, protection and survival by facilitating child-inclusive governance through child participation in the state. If children are truly empowered, their future would be secured, fair and just by ensuring that every child has a happy and healthy childhood’ said Sasanka Kumar Padhi, Odisha State Program Manager for Save the Children. Dharmananda Sundaray, Project Officer and Shyamal Kishore Das, Communication Coordinator have jointly facilitated the two day programme.